A Story Of Faith
In the book of Daniel there is a story shared about three young Hebrew men that defy king Nebuchadnezzar. The king had built and set up a large golden image, and then commanded that everyone fall down and worship the image when the people heard the sound of music. Anyone that refused was threatened with being tossed in to a furnace with blazing fire.
There were three young men that defied the order and brought before the king. Their names were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Upon being brought before king Nebuchadnezzar, the young men were given one last opportunity to bow and worship the golden image or be burned alive. Below is their response:
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
– Daniel 3:16-18 (NASB)
A Message Of Faith
This scene for me, is one of the greatest pictures and testimonies of faith in the entire bible. It is the heart that I hope to have each day as I encounter the world and the circumstances that God has given me. My prayer is that you will have the same heart as well; that, as men and women of God you will stand before the world, and with great passion, declare this message:
My God is able!
I believe He is willing…
But, even if He does not do, what I hope He will do…
I will not worship another.
Elements Of Faith
This message communicates three essential elements of faith:
Assurance. An understanding of who God is. He is the one that created something from nothing. He spoke into existence the world we live in; the sun, the moon, the stars, our universe, the oceans and all its sea creatures, the forest and all its critters, and all the people with their individual uniqueness. He has given the world order, beauty, complexity, mystery, predictability, and so much more. He is the one that holds the past, the present, and the future. He is the one that has power over life and death. He is the one that stands sovereign over all creation. He is able to adequately and fully deal with whatever circumstances and people I encounter every day.
Belief. Embracing the idea that the God of all creation cares about one person. Me. Not only is He a great big God that has all the power to hold His creation together and give it direction and purpose, but He is a personal God that sees everyone individually. And more to the point, He is willing to involve Himself from the smallest of details to the greatest of concerns that encompass my life. He is willing to be involved in the outcomes of my life.
Conviction. I am finite and God is infinite. I have hopes that encompass my life, yet God has plans that my life will change others. In the event that my shortsightedness cannot see the grand plans that God has, because of the circumstances in my life, I will trust that He knows better, and I will surrender my will to His. I will give my life, its circumstances, and its outcomes to be used by God, as He sees fit, to continue to tell the story of His great love for humanity. My faith will not be thwarted by my inability to see God’s plan, nor my capacity to understand His ways. He alone is worthy of my praise and my worship. I will not give it to another.
A Testimony Of Faith
Just a few weeks ago now, a member of our church stood before our congregation and recounted his journey through being diagnosed with cancer and enduring all the treatments that were to follow. He has not been given a clean bill of health as of yet. He has his first follow up appointment some time in August and if that scan is clear he will go every few months for another scan to make sure the cancer has not returned.
As he began this process, his hope was that he would not have to undergo radiation treatment. That God would heal him before it got to that point. Nearly everyone is the same, we wish the difficulty of our circumstances away.
When it seemed that God had other plans and he would need to undergo medical treatment at the hands of doctors, I began to pray differently for him. I prayed that God would lift the strength of his spirit to match the difficulty of his circumstances.
Before our eyes, we were privileged to watch a man of God, exercise his faith, through circumstances he did not choose. We watched him portray each of the qualities mentioned above. And we stand beside him as his journey moves forward and his story continues to unfold.
I can say that no matter the outcome, his display of faith has already made an impact. We are trusting that God will continue to bring recovery and healing, but I get the distinct honor of watching a man claim to the world, My God is Worthy, even if…
A Song Of Faith
Below is a recent release of a song by Mercy Me. If you are standing before the fire, I want to remind you to believe that God is able, that He is willing, and that He is worthy, even if He doesn’t respond how you hope He will.