Posted by: SandreS | September 21, 2015

But if Not

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In Daniel chapter 3, 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 that God was able to deliver them!

Listen to their response to the king.

… Our God … is 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!” Yet, faith is even greater than all of this! Faith calls us to live beyond “God … is able!” Listen to the rest of their response.

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

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), “He is working all together for good” (Romans 8:28). Faith calls us to far greater heights, to live daily in these words: “But if not!”

We can’t always understand the great trials of life; we can’t always understand what is truly best for us and our loved ones; we can’t always see the “big picture” for what it really is – from its heavenly perspective – but rest in this immovable fact: Father does, and can!

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

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