Posted by: SandreS | March 10, 2010

“But if Not” – Peace in the Middle of Life’s Greatest Trials, Part 6

Another foundational principle from God’s Word that will guide our hearts to peace, even as we experience life’s great trials, can be found in Daniel 3:16-18.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer you in this matter. If it be so, our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18).

The “Three Hebrew Children,” to put it lightly, were in a “tight spot.” Their very lives were in the balance. The king held the power of their lives in his hands, or so he thought.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew that things are not always as they appeared to be, and that what they saw with their eyes was not the real picture of the situation.

Despite the fact that King Nebuchadnezzar was an earthly monarch which appeared to have their destiny under his control, they knew that there was a heavenly Sovereign Who had all things under His control. They knew the truth, as we learn later in the book of Daniel, that,

… the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever He will … (Daniel 4:17, 25)

… all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He does according to His will … among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand … (Daniel 4:35)

This was but the great truth of God’s sovereignty over the affairs of men taught throughout the Scriptures.

… Are not You God in heaven? and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand You? (II Chronicles 20:6)

And that,

The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turns it wherever He will (Proverbs 21:1).

That in fact,

… He is a great King over all the earth (Psalms 47:2).

It is these truths that gave the “Three Hebrew Children” their strength and courage. They knew that God was able to deliver them! Listen again to their response.

Our Godis able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace …

It can bring great peace to any trial or situation that we face, to know in our hearts that “… Our God … is able to deliver us.” Faith calls us to live daily in these words: “God … is able!”

But faith is greater than all of this! Faith calls us to live beyond “God … is able!” Listen to the rest of there response.

But if not, be it known unto you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.

Here is our theme for today “But if not.” Just as with the “Three Hebrew Children,” God is able to deliver us from our trials and troubles, however great they are; but if He does not, He is still our God, He is still in control, and He is still working “all things after the counsel of His own will! (Ephesians 1:11). Faith calls us to far greater heights, to live daily in these words: “But if not!”

We cannot always understand the great trials of life; we cannot always understand what is truly best for us and our loved ones; we cannot always see the “big picture” for what it really is – from its eternal and heavenly perspective – but Father can!

Father is able to deliver you from your current situation that at this moment may seem so hopeless; “but if not,” nothing has changed: He is still the great God, and sometimes in His great love and wisdom He has destined for you not deliverance, but endurance – and that by His unfailing grace.

God is able” to deliver us, and He may do just that – “but if not …” The knowledge of this can settle the weary heart and bring peace to the troubled mind. Regardless of the situations that we face, Father is in control. Rest in that.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 2010

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