Advent | December 17, 2018
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Tethered to God’s Faithfulness

“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 will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” —Daniel 3:17-18 (emphasis added)

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s bold response to a vain king who tested their faith illustrates the deep confidence in God referred to in Hebrews 11:1: “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Their response was a refusal to violate their faith in the one true God by worshiping an image set up by the king of Babylon. Even in the face of persecution and death, they cried out with confidence, “God is able! God is willing!” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego tethered their own faithfulness to God’s faithfulness because they knew he is faithful, regardless of how their situation would turn out.

When we face difficulties in life, or even impossibilities, we might be able to cry out with confidence, “God is able! God is willing!” But can we commit to be fully faithful to God and say, “Even if he does not . . .? What happens when God doesn’t respond in the way or time we expect? Do we lose heart? Do we lose confidence in God’s goodness and faithfulness in our lives? Or do we say with these people of faith, “Even if God does not help me in the way I have asked, I will remain faithful to my true King”?

Sometimes people of great faith never see the results they desire in this world (see Heb. 11:39-40), yet the true measure of faith is in whether or not we hold on to our confidence in God and his faithfulness even when we don’t see the results we long for.

Will you remain faithful even if God does not work in the way or time that you desire?

Prayer: Loving Father, strengthen my faith to trust your faithfulness, to believe that you can and will workin my life, and grant me the grace to remain faithful when your answer to my prayer is different than I had hoped.

Bryan Noonan is a member of the Celebration Fellowship Church community and a junior in the Calvin Prison Initiative at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia, Mich., earning a bachelor’s degree in ministry leadership. He enjoys being a small group leader in church and mentoring and ministering to other prisoners.

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