17,18 "… ’our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire … but even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods’ ..."
Daniel 3:17,18 (NASB)
The Babylonian king made a golden image of himself. Everyone was expected to fall down and worship the king's image. Those who failed to respond earned an appointment with a blazing furnace.
The king’s leaders brought three Jewish youths who refused to worship the golden image before the king. They were friends of Daniel, the key figure in the Old Testament book of Daniel. The angry king gave them a second opportunity to bow down, but they refused.
You can read the whole account in Daniel 3. The furnace was so hot it roasted the warriors who threw the three into the fire. But not a hair was singed on these young men. They walked around in the furnace as if they were warming themselves by a fireplace.
There is a pattern with Daniel and his three friends. They all stood strong as mere teenagers in a foreign land. It is not stated in Daniel, but my guess is that the strength of their convictions was contagious. They emboldened each other.
The offensive linemen of a certain team had a tradition of fining each other all season for their mistakes in practice and in games. At the end of the season the collection funded a night on the town together.
When they finished their linemen-sized meal at a fine restaurant, one of the leaders of the pack stood to declare it was time to hit the clubs.
Then one guy got up, thanked his teammates for the fine meal and said, “Well men, enjoy your night; it is time for me to go home to my wife.” As they all left the table, two more linemen blurted, “Hey, _, can I get a ride with you?”
When just one or two hold to their convictions, it strengthens those who want to do what is right but lack the faith to stand alone. Your convictions will strengthen your teammates.