Monday, May 2, 2011

Even if

The story takes place in Daniel 3. An arrogant king orders everyone to bow down to a golden idol. If they choose not to, they will be thrown into a fiery furnace. Three courageous men respond to the order this way:
"Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “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.”

There is confidence in these words: the God we serve is ABLE. He is ABLE to deliver us from it.

They believed so desperately in the God they served and His ability to save them. They felt no need to defend their actions nor their beliefs. There faith did not fault when the threat of heat came near. Instead, their faith surrounded them like a shield despite what they might encounter.

Then read the next words: but even if he does not.

Even if He does not deliver them from the fire they will still proclaim God as King.

Even if.

What's your Even If situation? What fiery trial is so close you can smell the smoke and feel the heat?

Even if...

you are not healed. 

your spouse does not return.

the bills keep piling up.

the job does not come.

the prayer goes unanswered.

the loss seems so great.

Even if. Even if He does not deliver you from the trial...will you still proclaim His goodness? Will you still seek first His righteousness? Will you still abide in Him? Will you still trust in His sovereign plan?

Last week was a tough one. One friend got laid off. Another is in the midst of deciding whether or not to close their family business. Another dear friend  is again struggling with incredible pain and a long hospital stay.

Each situation is very different. But yet, I see similarities. I see a fiery furnace. I see the temptation to bow down to bitterness, self-pity, anger, and worry.

I also see a choice. A choice to believe that their God is ABLE. He can choose to deliver them. He may not, but He is ABLE. 

As Ryan and I approach the 12-month mark of unemployment, God has not yet chosen to deliver us from this trial. But we are confident that He is ABLE.

And even if He does not deliver us from it before the money is gone and the wounds are deep, we will not bow down to another. We serve the One who is ABLE and the One who walks through the fire with us.


Elizabeth said...

Came accross your blog a little while ago and I love it. I totally relate to what you wrote today. I know God is able to make us a baby but if he chooses not to then I trust Him. It is hard but I was challenged by your post on Waiting on God. So challenged I have ordered the book you quoted from. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Sky said...


Patiently Waiting...... said...

What a beautiful post. YES i will trust in HIS plan and sing HIS praises. However, it is so, so hard to wait. I hope your prayers are answered soon.

Stacey said...

This is absolutely one of my favorite passages in Scripture. It is so powerful, especially when you consider that for these men, their "even if" was a horrible, fiery death! This (true) story meant so much to me during my long waiting period, when I had to ask myself whether I was still going to trust the Lord and give Him the glory even if He didn't answer my prayers the way I wanted Him to (and in MY timing, no less!). Thank you for reminding me of this valuable lesson from God's Word. Keeping you in my prayers.

Abigail said...

Praying for you! Praise God for the gift of Faith!