But Even If He Does Not...
by Joanne Sher
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During my devotional time, I am working through reading the Bible in a year. This is actually something I have done almost every year since I got saved, and I often use a specific reading schedule (Usually from RBC’s Our Daily Bread). This year, however, I am not. I started at the beginning on January 1, and have read every day since, however much I felt led to read – starting with Genesis and working my way through.
I just finished the book of Daniel today, and once again came across one of the most incredible statements of faith in God in the Bible—in my opinion, anyway.
Let me set the scene. Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, are in the service of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. He has recently built a 50-foot statue, and demanded that every one of his subject bow down and worship it. These three men of God, high up in Nebuchadnezzar’s organization, refuse to worship anyone but their Lord.
The king approaches the three men and gives them one more chance to obey: "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?" Daniel 3:15 NIV
Now, if I had been one of those men, I'm fairly certain my panic alarm would have gone off at maximum volume. Doubts, anxiety, and fear would have dominated my thoughts. I might have even bowed (with my body) just to save my life (admit it--you might have considered it too!).
But not these guys.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Daniel 3:16-18 NIV
Now that, my friends, is faith. These men knew He could save them, but were willing to pay the ultimate price even if He chose not to do what they wanted. That is faith no matter the circumstances--faith despite circumstances.
There are many around the world who are faced with the same dilemma as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: men and women who risk their lives, families, finances, possessions and everything else every day just to share the Gospel, or to live it out. The persecuted church is huge, yet it is the fastest growing part of the body of Christ. These people are willing to look their oppressors in the face and say "but even if He does not." And in some cases, He does not. But they still say it.
That is the kind of faith I want.
Heavenly Father, I pray for all those who are suffering for their faith, for those who risk death daily because of their love for You. Give them the strength to say, and life "but even if He does not" each day. Strengthen them, and hold them close to You.
And Lord, I pray that you would give me that kind of faith. Help me to trust You enough to live for You no matter what the consequences. Make me an "but even if He does not" Christian.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
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I say 'amen' too to your prayer,Joanne.In my next article ready for submlsion,I called them 'Kingdom Addicts' ready to lay down their lives for His love.We must be ready to pay any price here to get home.Thanks for the piece.
Thank you for reading my article/testimony, I find this one so relevant to my life- and the faith that has come "even if He does not" answer the way I am expecting Him to - God is still the King and Lord of my life. Thanks again.
This is excellent and it gives you something to think about. How many of us would say, "Even if He does not..."? How many of us are willing to lay down a sacrifice for the sake of Christ? Even to share our faith with others, even to move away from the table for a few hours? Love this!
This is a wonderful story, one of my favourites, and you told it so well. Your conclusion, with the question, "what would we have done?" makes one think. What WOULD I have done? But because of this story, I am sure it has given many people facing similar situations, the strength to do what these three men did...(I have often wondered where Daniel was when this decree was given. Maybe he was out of the country at the time, because we all know he wouldn't have bowed down. That was proven when he was sent to the lion's den.) Anyway, thanks for sharing this insightful article....Helen
Amen! you hit right on the nose.I have wondered if I would be able to stand if it comes to standing for my faith. But I'm sure if and when this time come I be ready. God bless you and your family.
How inspiring! We must remember that not only do we have the fourth man walking with us, but right inside us! and not just 3 believers, but ALL believers.
Amen and Thanks!
Thank you for this beautiful piece of writing. God bless you. Amen.
Poignant article, very well thought out and presented. I especially like the title and the "tidbit" we can take away as a reader "But Even If He Does Not..." That phrase will always help me to remember the story and your thoughts and that's a great tool to give me as a reader - thanks.
Joanne, That's the kind of faith I want too. I think very soon He will separate the goats from the sheep - I want to be a sheep:) This is a very good article. Thanks for the blessing. In Christ's Love, Julia
Amen! That's my prayer too. What a wonderful message! Your words penetrated deep in my heart. I enjoyed reading this. I was actually on the verge of tears till the last sentence.Very captivating!
Thanks for the reminder!
Amen! So often we think of faith as being what we need to get out of circumstances, but in reality I believe it is more often what we need to go through circumstances, knowing He is right there with us no matter what!
Yes it did take great faith and i have often wondered what i would do, but thank God there was a fourth Man walking in there with them ! Great article!
Yep. We were talking about something like this at church today. One of us stated that I want/need that kind of faith. What's more is I want to know that I have it, not just walk around pretending. I know God will give it when needed. That is where trust comes in. Knowing our parents will provide everything we need when we need it is only a small picture of our Father God's faithfulness toward us, HIS children. Thank you for sharing your heart in this.
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