Have you noticed that the Bible doesn’t spare telling us the whole story? We can learn from some of the people in the Bible who made some dreadful choices.

David comes to mind, this man after God’s own heart. But his choice to call for Bathsheba, commit adultery, have her husband killed—all of those sordid details are in the Bible. I wonder how often David thought about the consequences of that terribly bad choice he made. He paid a very heavy price personally for that choice, and yet God still loved him and used him.

On the other hand, think of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—those three young Jewish men taken captive to Babylon. They were commanded to worship the pagan statue that King Nebuchadnezzar made or be thrown in the fiery furnace. They had a choice to make. I love how they responded to the King:

King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:16b-18).

Just as these men chose to take that strong stand for their God, it’s possible that you will have to face some similar choices. You may be facing some fiery furnaces even now: instructions from your company that are not compatible with your faith; disrespect from family members or friends who condemn you for not going along with the culture; rejection from people who think you are weird because you stand strong for your biblical convictions. Will you choose, as these three men did, that you will not serve other gods? You will not give in to the pressure to abandon your beliefs, knowing as they did that you may indeed have to live with the consequences of your choice? Are you determined by God’s grace to take the “even if he does not” stand for Jesus?