“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, 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 3:17-18)
How often is your faith in God contingent upon what God does for you? We find it easy to believe when everything in life is going like we think it should. But how hard faith can become when our experiences in life don’t meet our expectations of God. We ask questions like, “God, why are you allowing this?” or, “God, why don’t you change this?” Those questions can go unanswered and cause us to question our faith, cause our affections for God to wither, and sometimes, cause us to even abandon faith altogether.
In Daniel 3, we see a powerful antidote to this kind of thinking. As the Jewish men faced the threat of death, they were fully confident that God could deliver them. But they did not demand from God that He deliver them. God was valuable to them, not for what He did for them, but for who He was to them. He was their God whether He did what they wanted or not. Their faith was not dependent upon Him taking certain actions. Instead, it was secured by knowing that He is the God of love no matter what.
As Christians, we have seen God’s heart of love in the most profound way possible as Jesus came and Love walked amongst us. He lived so that he could die a horrific death taking the judgment of God for us. He rose again to life, so that He could offer eternal life to anyone who would believe in Him. If you are a Christian, then the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus should assure your heart that God loves you. And as you consider God’s great love for you, that should allow you to stand firm no matter what happens to you.
Question: What can cause you to doubt God?
Challenge: The first thing you should do every morning is wake up and remind yourself of God’s great love in Jesus. It will change how you approach everything in your day.
Prayer: God, help us to believe in Your love so that we can stand strong in life.
Jeff Boettcher, Chapel Leader -- Philadelphia Phillies