Even If You Don't
"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." (Daniel 3:16-18)
“Even if or only if?”
These words haunted me several months ago when we were given breath-stalling medical news regarding two beloved family members: the first, my brother-in-law, and just a few days later, my unborn son.
Would I worship my God only if He would bring full healing, answering according to my deep desires? Or would I stand with my hand to the flame, thanking God for who He is and what He has done even if He did not heal in the way my heart so yearned?
Perhaps you’ve had your own ‘even if’ moments and have been tempted to worship only if the outcome met your desires.
Surely Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could have cried out for King Nebuchadnezzar to have mercy and spare them from the fiery flames. They could have created a grand defense and then begged God to deliver them from undue persecution. Quite honestly, it would not have been that strange if they had become angry with God for what they were facing as a result of their staunch obedience to Him.
But what do they do? They are fearless. They are confident. They are unmoved and unchanged. They do not doubt their God’s ability, but neither did they presume to know God’s will. In this, they agreed with Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15) They recognized that God’s plan might be different than their desires.
As believers, when we find ourselves in the furnace, will we be pounding at the door, screaming, “This is not fair! Let me out! I don’t deserve this!” Or, much like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, will we be found on our knees in humble worship, the flames surrounding and even engulfing, yet prayerfully and powerfully repeating, “I know You’re able, I know you can - but even if You don’t, You are still worthy of worship, my God, and my King!”
We can be confident in our sovereign and reigning God’s ability to save and deliver in this life - while with a bold but quiet strength we recite, “Even if you don’t, my hope is You alone!” You see, God has already saved in the most ultimate and eternal sense through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. What a profound privilege as believers to be able to sing with complete confidence and conviction:
“Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come - let this blessed assurance control: that Christ has regarded my helpless estate, and has shed His own blood for my soul!”
Church at Bergen, may we be a people who worship God not because of what He gives, but because of who He is.
May He alone be glorified.
(Jordan, Mandy, Laityn, Evan, and Mason)