“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King 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 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.” (Daniel 3:16-18)
Do you ever have a verse you keep bringing up in conversations that you know you are not quoting correctly? That was my case with these verses from Daniel 3. I would usually get it somewhat right but always meant to go back and look it up later on. After fumbling my way through it once again today, I finally decided to look it up.
I had previously thought of this passage in terms of covering all your bases. Kind of like saying, “Yes my God can deliver me from (blank) but just in case He doesn’t…” I’m thinking of it a bit differently now. More in terms of trust and faith then in terms of resigning yourself to your fate.
“…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…” (Daniel 3:17-18) After reading through these verses a bit more I see that these men truly believed that God would deliver them. But they also had the faith to believe in God even if He didn’t quite deliver them in exactly the way they expected.
This reminds me a verse in the Matt Redman song, “You Never Let Go” which says this:
“Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You” (Listen to it here)
I love that last line about still praising God even in the midst of our troubles – before we see the end of them! This is not a statement to be taken lightly. Because I know that often when we are there, we don’t feel like praising God. And yet we can make a choice to do it anyway, through God’s grace and with His help.
Often, it is in making this choice that our attitude toward our troubles changes as well. We can see God’s hand in areas we didn’t before. We are able to endure with just a bit more grace. We began to see building blocks being laid toward a stronger faith. And our view of these troubles starts to line up more with God’s.
However, I also like the sentiment shown here in this excerpt from a blog post called When Healing Doesn’t Look The Way We Thought It Would:
“Sometimes healing looks more like walking down a long windy road than taking a pain-free step…
When we think of healing only as the relief of a disease or pain, we are only letting God have part of who we are. When we embrace the idea that healing is far bigger than any single circumstance we face, we enable God to heal the deepest parts of who we are.
Maybe healing hasn’t come the way you hoped it would. Hold on friend. Hold tight and keep walking because every step you take closer to Jesus brings healing to your soul.”
This brings us back to the idea of “And even if He doesn’t.” What then? What will our take be on the situation? May we be able to take comfort in the words of Jesus, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).