16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
17 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.
18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." - Daniel 3:16-18
Verse 18 is the ultimate game changer verse. This is a verse that can shatter strongholds, and change your perspective of any trial in your life. “But if not”. When I finally understood the truth that God is still good, even when He doesn’t answer my prayers the way I want Him to answer them, my life and my faith were forever changed.
And if not, He is still good. God is able, but He is not obligated to do what we ask of Him. If we take a hard look at our prayer life, we have to admit the the majority of our time is spent telling God what we think He should do. “Change him, heal her, bring me a man, a job, a baby, my prodigal home, etc.” Our prayers often turn into a list of what we want. Even when we accept God’s timing is different than ours, we still have an expectation that it will happen. Our prayers must include the “but if not” part. Whatever He decides is part of a perfect plan.
Sometimes the answer is no. God didn’t put the fire out for these men. He could put the fire out, and sometimes He does, but in my experience, sometimes He leaves the fire burning and allows us to walk through it. The God we serve is able to deliver us from our heart breaking trial, but it doesn’t mean that He will.
Here’s the hard-hitting truth we have to get our heads around to be able to accept the truths in verse 18 - He always has a purpose for allowing us to walk through the fire, and it is always for our good. Even in the no, even when He doesn’t move our mountains, we can still trust that He is good. God might save us from the trial before we go in, He might save us in the middle of it, or he might take us to heaven through it.
For Rack, Shack, and Benny, God has something for them in the middle of it - something none of us could have ever imagined as a solution. Think about it - would your prayer in that situation ever have included “let me walk into the fire and not be burned?” Probably not. But God knew what was best. His solution was for the good of all. Sometimes He walks us right into that burning fiery furnace and stands beside us for others to see. Whatever His plan is for me, I’ve walked into enough burning fires to trust that His plan always for my good.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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