…if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?" Daniel 3:15b
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Daniel 3:17&18
How has the crisis in the financial markets affected your mood? This current situation is spoken about in dire terms: financial panic, depression, chaos, economic disaster, global meltdown. Christian parent, how is the situation influencing your mood and demeanor? As of this writing, Congress is struggling to pass legislation quickly that will ease economic worries and restore stability to the financial markets. Are you comforted as you watch the continuously updating news reports about what lawmakers are or aren’t doing? As I have listened to the news this weekend, I have yet to hear one reporter, anchor, lawmaker or candidate utter the most obvious of realities – God is in control and he will care for his people. I have not heard anyone on the national stage say that God’s wisdom must be sought to resolve this economic mess.
Because we don’t hear the experts and pundits acknowledging the power of God, we might forget that all of these events are unfolding just as God has known that they would. Sadly, our leaders have assumed the role of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3. By refusing to acknowledge the power of God, even over the volatile financial markets, there is an implicit challenge to Christians that God is either unwilling or unable to help in this crisis. How do your children see you reacting to these times and events? It is important for them to see you respond with the confidence that no matter which way things turn out, God is still God, he will care for his own, and he must be honored and praised.
You and I have no way of knowing whether this patchwork of legislative compromises will bring the hoped-for stability. But you serve the same God that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego served. They did not flinch from giving honor to God regardless of whether they would suffer the furnace or not; so you must encourage your children that God will be faithful and that he is worthy of praise regardless of what happens.
To many Christians, the uncertainty of the economic bailout and the upcoming election give pause and the temptation to worry. The reality is that you cannot control the decisions of Congress any more than you can control the power of a hurricane or of an earthquake. What you can do, just as the three brave Israelites did long ago, is to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and leave the worrying to Congress and the news media.
Even if economic disaster does strike, your ability to honor God will not be hindered. While you pray for wisdom for our leaders, you can have confidence that, like Paul, you can trust God and serve him in plenty and in want. Don’t miss this opportunity to point your children to the comfort of the living God.
In the next post we will return to the current series on communication with your teenagers.