Feb 18

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Daniel 3:16-18

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.”

Maybe you’re wondering why we’re reading about a fiery furnace and three men that sound like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book. Here’s some historical context to our story.  

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego have refused to worship a golden idol that King Nebuchadnezzar had built and mandated everyone to worship. Because of their refusal, the King is threatening to have the three men tossed into a fiery furnace. Their response to the King is simple, yet extremely profound. With great assurance, they confidently declare that God has the power to save them and that He will do it.  But in the same breath, they acknowledge that EVEN IF HE DOES NOT, it changes nothing about God’s faithfulness, power, and goodness.     

Much of my journey with the Lord has been shaped by believing in the faithfulness, power, and goodness of God even when I can’t see it in my circumstances or in the answers to prayers that I’ve prayed. 

When I was in college, my dad and I reconciled our relationship after twelve years of not speaking. And while it led to a beautiful story of healing and redemption for which I’m so grateful, the process was definitely painful. When God called me to reconcile that relationship, I knew that my dad was two years into a journey with pancreatic cancer. My biggest fear was that Jesus might allow me to experience healing in our relationship, only to experience more hurt again if he passed away. 

Throughout that season, I continually prayed … “Jesus, I know you can save my dad. I believe you will save my dad. But EVEN IF YOU DO NOT, it changes nothing about your faithfulness, power, and goodness.” My prayers were prayed through sobs, anger, and sometimes even doubt. But the beauty of God's love for me meant that He was willing to hear each of my words regardless of the emotionality behind it. I could lay it all at His feet, surrendering it all to Him. 

Maybe you’ve prayed a similar prayer in the midst of difficult circumstances. So often our relationship with the Lord involves praying for things we never receive or enduring things from which God could have spared us.  But through it all, we can choose to believe that these circumstances change nothing about His faithfulness, power, and goodness in our lives.   

In this season, I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of circumstances that were frustrating, discouraging, or overwhelming.  Perhaps they’ve even affected the ways you interact with or view God. 

Today, I want to give us space to acknowledge those painful situations while also being reminded, through prayer, of the realities that are true about the gracious God that we serve.

Prayer Prompts:

As you take time to pray, think about a situation that may feel overwhelming, disappointing, or discouraging to you. 

Tell Him how you’re feeling.  He wants us to honestly share our hearts with Him.   

Ask Him to bring a sense of His peace, comfort, and hope into your situation.  

Finally, to be reminded of what is true about God in your situation, pray the following: 

God, I believe that you are good.  Here’s how I’ve seen your goodness in my situation _______________.     

God, I believe that you are powerful.  Here’s how I’ve seen your power in my situation _____________. 

God, I believe that you are faithful.  Here’s how I’ve seen your faithfulness in my situation ______________.  

Take time to thank God for His goodness, power, and faithfulness in your life.