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An "Even If" Faith

July 26, 2005

Three young guys, kidnapped and stuck in a foreign country, are given a choice: bow down to an image of the new land's king, or die a slow, agonizing death. Some choice, eh? What would you choose?

Is this a modern day story of religious intolerance? Nope--it's the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3.

Talk about peer pressure! These guys were going to get burned to a crisp if they didn't do what everyone else around them was doing. But they still stood strong. I think that's so cool! Sometimes it's hard for me to stand up for the right thing even when the going isn't *that* rough! And here these guys were willing to do the right thing, no matter what it cost them.

Know what they said when they faced the red-faced, furious king? Even after having their fate explained to them a second time and being given a chance to reconsider, in Daniel 3:17, 18 they answered, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Did you catch that? They were willing to serve God even if. . .

They knew He was strong enough to save them, but they trusted Him even if He chose not to. That's powerful.

It's easy to serve God when everything is going great, He seems to be answering all our prayers, etc. It gets a lot harder (maybe it's just me) to trust Him "even if" He chooses, for whatever reason, not to answer our prayers like we want Him to; even if you don't pass that final, even if that cute guy (or girl!) in Sabbath School doesn't notice you, even if your Grandpa dies after you pray that he gets better, your parents divorce after you've prayed that they'll stay together--whatever.

I don't know about you, but I want to have that kind of "even if" faith. To trust even when I don't get my way. Do you have it? How do you think we can get it? I'd love to hear what you think.

- Re: An from Vicki Redden, August 1, 2005

Hey Arian, I think you're exactly right--that kind of faith is a gift from God and not something you just pull out of a hat when you need it. It's the result of taking the time to get to know God and His character through Bible study, prayer, and other devotional time with Him. Thanks for your thoughts! And keep building that faith!

- Me again!! from Arian Emauel, July 29, 2005

DO i have it? You can ask e that again. cuz honesly they're times when i feel i do n othere when i dont. SOmetimes i think about what the pastor said about the soon coming sunday law. N i always wonder if i'll b strong enough. If i have that "even if" faith as the boys did. TH e only way i think we can get it is to keep reading our Bibles n keep building ur relationship. Learn to believe with ALL your heart. n um sure witht this strategy that we'll all have that "even if" faith.

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