Monday, October 31, 2011

All fired up

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.  But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up." – Dan. 3:16-18

These godly fellas were bold and had faith that God could and would save them from burning up in the furnace.  That’s terrific.  However, I see something else that’s really intriguing in this passage.  Not only did they have faith that God would save them but they resolved to obey Him even if he chose NOT to save them from dying.

It’s wonderful for us to have faith in God.  He can save us from whatever challenging situation, imminent tragedy, or looming doom that we face.  We trust Him and we should.  However, I suggest that our attitude should go further than just trusting God to save us from difficulty.  We must decide ahead of time that we will love Him, trust Him, and worship Him even when He allows us to go through the ringer. 

What if he doesn’t heal that cancer and my loved one dies?  What if I lose my job and He doesn’t provide a new job for a long time?  What if He doesn’t come through financially and I go bankrupt?  What if that relationship blows up and fizzles out?  What if that prayer isn’t answered?  What if my plans fall apart?  What if I fail? 

Real faith kicks in and says,
I will not bow down to those tempting idols and take the easy worldly way out.
I will not give in to that temptation to fix things in my own strength that’s contrary to God’s commandment to me.
I will choose to honor and glorify God regardless of what He allows to happen to me.

It’s with this attitude that the world looks on and says, “wow, everything just fell apart in that guy’s life and He still loves God and seems to have a joy that doesn’t make sense.. that’s bizarre.. maybe this Jesus thing has something to it..”

Whatever we’re facing at the moment, let’s be like Daniel’s boys.  Not only do we have faith that God CAN save us but let’s have the resolve to worship Him even if He chooses not to save us from a particular problem.  Perhaps He has plans to use a tragedy in your life to show the people in your world what it’s like to have faith in a God regardless of your circumstances.  In the end, He gets the glory and that’s what it’s all about.