’But even if He doesn’t’. When recently studying this remarkable account in the book of Daniel I was struck by the impact of what Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were actually saying when they uttered those five words. Their faith and trust in God was so solid and sure that they were willing to die, when given a terrifying ultimatum. It’s not as if they knew what the outcome of this situation would be, or how God was going to save them. I wonder if they were afraid of the pain they would have to face.
How do we react to situations where we expect God isn’t going to orchestrate a difficult situation to suit us, or bring the outcome we would like? Do we trust Him, as long as it works out the way we prefer? Do we find it almost impossible to trust Him when things start moving in a different direction? Do we retreat into a world of doubt and self-pity and fear the worst outcome imaginable then? Do we ask God how He could possibly love us if He expects us to walk through this trial? Why couldn’t He just divert the whole situation to prevent any conflict and misunderstanding?
Panic arises when the inevitable happens: we have to face the situation, as suddenly there’s nowhere to run or hide anymore. Things didn’t go the way we hoped and prayed they would. There are other people involved in the situation, and we have no control over their reactions and words. We feel it’s impossible to trust the Lord anymore, since He
didn’t save us from the fire – we’ll have to go through this trial; not around it!
The three men in the above passage were faced with death, yet they trusted the Lord, even if He were to choose not to save them. They didn’t tell the Lord what they expected the outcome to be. Their trust in Him was far greater than the here and now. It was a Holy Spirit inspired trust - far beyond the present moment and temporary discomfort
So how should we handle tough situations? Step by step and moment by moment. Never forgetting that the Lord works everything together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
Prayer‘Give me faith, dear Lord, to believe, irrespective of what happens, that You are in control, and I can go out and face the world, knowing that, because I trust in You, I’m on the winning side’. Amen. (Angus Buchan).
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