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?