"Even If" vs. "What If"

The hard reality is that sometimes God doesn’t rescue us from our present situation. At least, not in this life. In those moments, will we still trust in God?

In the book of Daniel, we learn about three Jewish men who had been taken into captivity in Babylon. Their reputations have endured long after their earthly lives. I can’t wait to talk with them in heaven.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego experienced one of the most amazing miracles ever recorded. They were bound and thrown into a furnace of fire so hot that the flames killed the men who threw them into the furnace. The three Jewish men survived. God rescued them, and King Nebuchadnezzar saw them walking around in the furnace. Not burned in the slightest.

But it is what these three young men said before being thrown into the furnace that really shows us what true faith looks like:

"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” - Daniel 3:17-18

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew that God could rescue them in some miraculous way. But they also knew that God could choose not to do so, and they could die in the flames. Even if God didn't save them by a miracle, they knew that God's goodness wasn't on the line. Either way, they would not sacrifice their faith for the sake of temporary benefit, as horrific as the punishment would be.

True faith and devotion to God is the trust that He knows exactly what He is doing and that despite the circumstances and events taking place in our lives, we would continue to trust that He is good nonetheless.

Tauren Wells puts it beautifully when he said:

"I think the real test of faith is not just believing God can perform a miracle but continuing to believe He is good when He doesn't."

So as we live in light of this story, let's change our ""What if's" to "Even if's". Instead of saying, "What if? What if this happens? What if the doctor's report isn't good? What if my best friend moves away? What if I lose my job? What if ______?" Change it to, "even if". Even if these bad things happen, God is still God. Even if the worst comes to reality, God will care for me. Even if it happens, I will trust the Lord. "What if" leads to a question, "even if" leads to a statement. "What if" leads to doubt, "even if" leads to faith. "What if" focuses on me, "even if" focuses on God. "What if" leads to worry, "even if" it leads to worship.

In light of this, we can rejoice today because the joy of the Lord is our strength. Remember that even if your “what if” becomes a reality, God will not change and he will walk with you through it. Instead of "what if", set your heart to know that "even if" things go south, you are in the hands of Almighty God and He will never leave you or forsake you.

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