There are many times in life where we will have difficult moments and face challenges. It is in these moments that we have to ask ourselves whether we will stand firm and continue to trust in the goodness of God. In Daniel 3, a command was given to the people by King Nebuchadnezzar to bow down and worship a golden statue every time a certain music was played. Anyone who did not obey his command, would be thrown into a fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were faithful men of God that were asked to worship the golden statue. They did not bow down, they remained standing, unlike the others. The king gave them another chance, but they continued to stand. In Daniel 3:16-18, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king by saying,
“…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.”
You may know how the story ends. The men get thrown into the fiery furnace which was seven times hotter than normal and they did not have a single burn or smell of smoke. God delivered them. However, this is not a situation that these men wanted to be in. They knew the consequences of not bowing down, but they trusted that God would take care of them through their challenges. Even if God didn’t save them, they were still going to praise Him.
I want to focus on one particular part of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s reply, “even if he doesn’t.” There have been times in my life, and I’m sure yours too, that I have felt like I am in a fiery furnace. Maybe things aren’t going how we think they should, and God isn’t responding how we want Him to. When we find our faith being tested by fire, we must make a decision. Are we going to stand firm in God’s promises or bow down to the world? It is easy for me to stand firm in God’s promises when life is going good and things seem to be going how they should be. But the moment that something falls of course, it becomes harder and we begin to ask questions. There is no promise in scripture that links your faith to an absence in difficulty, but there are hundreds of promises that link your faith to the presence of God in the fire. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced a major difficulty, but it did not faze their faith in God’s abilities. They knew that God would be with them in that fire, whether he chose to save them or even if he didn’t. They had chosen to worship God whether things looked good or things looked bad. If we only worship God when life is easy and things are looking good, then we aren’t really worshiping him as God, we are worshiping our desires. We can’t only worship God when he is giving us the things that we want. True faith is worshiping Him in the good and in the fire. May we never forget that on our best days, we still need God as desperately as we do on our worst days. And even if He doesn’t do what we expect, God is still good.
Even if He doesn’t give me what I want, God is still good.
Even if He doesn’t answer my prayer how I wanted, God is still good.
Even if He doesn’t give me an easy life, God is still good.
Even if He doesn’t __________________, God is still good.