Following God is no guarantee that all our problems will turn out like we want them to. Sometimes circumstances remain difficult. Occasionally situations continue to be painful. And sometimes we even die without understanding all of God’s purposes in this life. But we can still trust in God’s character and faithfulness no matter how things appear to us.
Trust in dire circumstances
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego demonstrated this kind of trust in God with what could have been their dying words. In the sixth century B.C., these three young Israelite men had been captured in Jerusalem and carried off with many others to serve in the royal palace in Babylon.
After years of humble service, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were forced to make a life and death decision: Either bow down and worship the idol set up by the king or be thrown into the fiery furnace. After their first refusal, King Nebuchadnezzar – whom they had served loyally – gave them one more chance.
“If you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 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. 18 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 3:15b-18, NIV
Faith, no matter the outcome
The steadfast faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego demonstrate trust in God and obedience to Him no matter the appearance of their circumstances. Whether things are good, hard, or absolutely desperate, we can lean on God and trust in His love for us. We can resolutely stand firm in our faith in God even when we don’t know what the outcome of our circumstances will be.
God choose to physically rescue Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three young men were thrown into the furnace but were miraculously not burned. In fact, they did not even smell like smoke when they were brought out. However, God does not always choose to deliver His people in this life. Sometimes He chooses instead to sustain us until He brings us into His presence.
Right now I face some circumstances that look bleak. God has spoken to me today in the “dying” words of these faith heroes. I consciously choose to continue to worship my God even if things do not turn out the way I hope.
Do you face a situation today that seems bleak, dire, and hopeless?
Will you choose to cling to God no matter how He chooses for it to turn out?
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I guess this is why we base our faith on what we “know” not on what we “feel” — thanks for this powerful biblical lesson today.
Yes, our emotions can deceive us!
I like what Connie said: not act on feeling but by what we know.
Yes, there are some situations right now in my life that look very bleak, but I trust God to see me through this valley.
Anytime our children go through tough times we can get caught up in the circumstances like I have recently. THEN, the Lord brought to my remembrance the life of Joseph. I know I was being ministered to by the Holy Spirit. I thought of how the enemy of my son’s soul had meant this for evil as did Joseph’s brothers and Potipher’s wife. I have seen God do a work in my son’s life from this circumstance, But the circumstance is not going away as soon as I had hoped. The holy spirit comforted me as I thought of how my son is responding as he should so like Joseph, I can expect my son will find favor with God and man and that whatever he puts his hand to, he will be blessed.
Thank you Vickie for sharing that with us!
forgive me, but I know that the favor should solely be found with God and not man. there are times that man can be used in not so nice ways, and every opportunity is used through man to deceive us and lead us astray. sometimes we HAVE to go against man, and find ourselves out of favor with man. i speak from pure experience, we are not put here to please man, or fall in favor with man. the most difficult choices we make can be made worse when we fall out of favor with man. Look at Christ and his Crucifixion, another example, his falling out of favor with man, but IN FAVOR with God’s plan. just an observation.
Stephanie, I agree! In Acts 4, Peter and John had to make the choice between obeying a direct order from the Jewish religious leaders not to speak again in the name of Jesus, or obey God in sharing the Good News. They knew they must obey God rather than man when there is a direct conflict. Yet, as long as the government and its laws do not conflict with God’s laws, we must obey them even if we don’t like them or would rather not do it. God has established the governing authorities and calls us to submit to their rule (Romans 13:1-7). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were an example of this kind of exception. I am afraid we will soon see more and more of this in our world today.