Even If He Doesn't
Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
(Daniel 3:14-18 ESV)
I want the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
The ability to face the worsts of tests and stand strong in Him. To say I know God can deliver me, but even if he doesn’t, I stand firm.
The truth is, our God is worth worshipping, even if we cannot understand His plan. We can take comfort in that fact, while simultaneously recognizing the Herculean effort of faith and trust on our part.
The examples we have in scripture of people completely trust in God despite scary circumstances are all markedly shadowed by something we don't often acknowledge: the fact that none of these saints could see the outcome. All chose trust, and those are the verses we recognize.
But it is a grave mistake to overlook the complete darkness that these verses were spoken or written in.
We hear Job quoted: “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshipped.” (Job 1:20)
We don't hear " I loath my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God, Do not condemn me; let me know why you contend against me." (Job 10:1-2)
Both are trust. Both are the "even-if" type of faith.
We hear Jeremiah quoted: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and nor for evil, to give you a future and a hope. " (Jeremiah 29:11)
We don't hear "Behold, they say to me, 'where is the word of the Lord? Let it come!' I have not run away from being your shepherd, nor have I desired the day of sickness. You know what came out of my lips; it was before you fae. Be not a terror to me; you are my refuge in the day of disaster." (Jeremiah 17:15-17)
The scripture we read, passed down for generations, happened in real time. We must never forget that Job sat bleeding and scabbed, his family utterly wiped out, when he simultaneously lamented his own birth and worshipped God. Jeremiah was the voice of God to a whole rebellious generation that doubted him. Every Bible character lived the words we read about them now, in the uncertainty that we as human beings share.
Like Shardach, Meshach, and Abednego, we do not know if God will deliver us from the fire. But as Paul said, "we walk by faith, not by sight." (1 Corinthians 5:7)
Christian, take comfort from the fact that you come from a line of saints who, like you, prayed for healing and deliverance and help without knowing whether it was coming, or understanding God's plan. WE can trust Him, pray for all we need, and still have an "even-if" kind of faith.
Focus on His nature: it is good, and just, and perfect. Even if He doesn’t deliver us from the fire, we can trust Him. He is worth our praise.