"I Am Prepared to Die" is the name given to a speech made by Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia trial at the end of which he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Conviction - A strong persuasion or belief
I’d like to share a few thoughts from Daniel 3, where we read the story of three men who were willing to live for and if necessary, die for their conviction.
1. Holding on to your conviction is more important than holding on to your function
A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. - Mahatma Gandhi
The three men in the story risked everything because they wouldn’t trade true worship at the altar of comfort (v17, 18). They were men who enjoyed leadership responsibilities over the province of Babylon but it was all about to be lost. We must remember that we are worshippers before we are leaders.
2. Going through fire for your conviction is as good a testimony as escaping fire
There is no other god who can rescue like this - King Nebuchadnezzar
As it turned out God rescued the three men through the fire not from the fire. There are times as followers of Jesus we are tempted to think that going through fire is bad PR for God because there are people watching on. God is bigger than that. The King and all his officials saw not just the three men, but the fourth man who walked with them in the fire.
3. The conviction of the minority can bring transformation to a society
While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done - Helen Keller
Sometimes we can feel so small compared to the size of the task ahead. The King was so moved by the conviction of these men (v28) that he made a decree that no one from from any nation or any language should speak against the God who saves. Let’s dare to believe that our God-given conviction is enough to see transformation.
4. Conviction sustained through adversity brings increased authority
The key to overcoming crisis is to outlast them - Myles Munroe
The King wanted the men dead but now gave them even more authority and prosperity in Babylon. God is always good. Perhaps your next level of authority and prosperity lies on the other side of the current crisis. The crisis won't outlive you. You will outlive it!
Nelson Mandela made that speech in April 1964 and was inaugurated as President in May 1994. Let’s live up to our God-given conviction. It has more potency than we realise.