My mind has reverted to a couple verses in Daniel recently as I’ve thought about the Lord’s activity in my life and around me.
I went through Beth Moore’s Daniel study several years ago when I still lived in Orlando, and it caused my spiritual eyes to be awakened to that magnificent book (as well as Revelation since the two are so connected). That Bible study packs a mighty theological punch that will make you long for the return of our Savior and fall more in love with Him while we wait.
I just love these verses:
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this 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, but it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego stood faithful to God and literally faced the fire. They knew that God was able to save them from the flames. They knew He could. But they also knew He might not. And that didn’t make their faith waver. God was able to save them, but if He didn’t He was still God.
What a faith! What a testimony to hearts in tune with their Maker’s! They would not compromise. They would proclaim the greatness of God no matter what the outcome of their situation.
I’ve been thinking a lot about praying for things, good things (like healing for the sick, rest for the weary, families being together, financial provisions). I know wholeheartedly that my God is able to heal, restore, provide, help. But sometimes those things don’t happen, at least in the way our earthly minds see. He is perfectly able. But there are times His way of healing and restoring, providing and helping looks a lot different than we anticipated or desired. Even when the answers to our prayers are different than we hoped, He is still God; He is always good; He is forever faithful.
Three examples grip my heart at the moment:
We prayed for my dad to get a job in Nashville so they wouldn’t have to add another move to the Mitchel moving repertoire, but he got one based in Dallas. There is no doubt that God provided, but there are uncertainties and heartache involved .
So many prayed for healing from cancer for a couple different men who were very close family friends and spiritual influences over the years. We fervently prayed that they would be healed and continue to be the amazing disciples, husbands, fathers, and friends that they were. But they were welcomed home into heaven instead. God surely healed them of all worldly pain and sorrow and sin, but they left behind mourning wives, devastated children, and heartbroken friends.
The summer before my senior year of high school a friend died in a car accident. We gathered together in prayer while she was in the hospital and hoped for a miracle. But that miracle didn’t come. I know God heard our prayers, but His will wasn’t to restore her body and let her continue growing up.
These are just a few of the many situations my heart has been flooded with as I’ve pondered these verses from Daniel recently. All I know is, my God is able. And He is always good and faithful. Always. He is God. And He knows best. He can heal. But even if He doesn’t, He is still God. He is able to provide. But even if it looks completely different from what we thought was best, He is still God. He uses all for His glory, our sanctification, and His Kingdom.
May we face the day resting assured of who the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is. May we continue to pour our hearts to our Father and know He hears our passionate pleas. May we delight in the goodness, faithfulness, and immutability of our God.
He is God. He is faithful. He is good.
Along this same thought is the song “Burn Us Up” from Shane and Shane. They always have a way of ministering to my heart.
Hear the story behind the song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqGsZKD2jLY
And here is the actual song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70PDuymQ_h0