One of my favorite bands came out with a new song. It is based on the men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who refused to bow down to the idol made by King Nebuchadnezzar. Their consequence for this defiance was being thrown into a furnace of extreme fire. The response these men had to this painful and torturous threat is one of great beauty. In summary, they said, “We won’t bow down. Our God can save us. Even if He chooses to not save us, our hope is still in Him.”
You probably know the rest of the story. They were tied up and thrown in the fiery furnace, and a fourth man appeared, who looked like the Son of God. Then out of the furnace they came, not even the smell of smoke was on them.
It’s a popular Sunday school story, which you can read in Daniel 3, yet the lessons, like all Truth from God’s Word is continual. The part where they said, ‘even if’, that’s where our faith hits a reality, isn’t it?
My son, who is a U.S. Marine, is scheduled to be deployed. His first one. The fears that try to sweep over me at any given point of the day can be paralyzing. Tears find their way down my cheek within seconds of thinking about “what if”. Thoughts so heartbreaking, they can’t even be spoken. Then those words “even if” from the book of Daniel come to mind. Even if. Yes, Lord, even if You don’t choose to answer the way I hope You do, my Hope is still in You.
How can my hope still be in the Lord even if something bad happens? How can I know that everything will be okay?
I was asked a question that has become a great grounding tool for my faith and my emotions. The question was simply, “do you believe God is good?” It caught me off guard, because my first response was “of course, He is good”, but do my actions, my thoughts, and my feelings show that I believe God is good. I’m learning that the amount of peace and confidence I have in the midst of stressful times depends on my answer.
Do you believe God is good? If He is good, all the time, and He is so good that it defines Him as absolutely positively good, then He is a God you can bring your requests to and know that His answer will be good. It might not be what we want. I’m pretty sure our three teenage friends weren’t excited about taking that step into the furnace, but look what God had in store. It was better, more memorable, and more powerful than anything they could have dreamed.
That’s my declaratation. Even if the Lord chooses not to, my Hope is still in Him.