Today we continue our series from the book by Dr. Tony Evans, “Can God be Trusted in our Trials?”
Last week, we shared that the time to look to the savior is not just when things are going well and you’re singing praises, but when the pain is the most intense and you feel like you’re going to collapse any minute. God CAN be trusted in our trials because he’s given us the fuel to press through them.
Today we’re going to share a famous Bible story that really underlies the importance of our faith in our belief as we go through trials. The three Hebrew boys of Daniel 3 were captives of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and that certainly was a trial. Of course, we’re talking about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
The king and made a golden image and declared that everyone in Babylon should bow down and worship it. But these three young Jewish men could not do that without violating God’s commandment to worship no other God, so they refused. King Nebuchadnezzar says in Daniel 3:15 “if you will not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire…and what God is there who can deliver you out of my hands?”
Now as far as the King was concerned, the only options were to bow or burn; but it didn’t ruffle these Hebrew boys because they had a third option: BELIEVE. Dr. Evans loves what they said to the king: “we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter.”
In other words, “this is going to be very quick; we don’t even need to think about it, your highness. We discussed this before we ever took this job and we agreed that if the choice came down to our God or you, you would lose.
If our God wants to, he can deliver us from your fiery furnace, because he is able to do that. But even if he doesn’t, and we roast to death in there, he still the only God and we aren’t going to worship your image.
Now, the important thing is to not skip over that opening phrase in verse 18 “but even if he does not deliver us from the fire.” We love to hear the part about how God delivered them from the fiery furnace and then later delivered Daniel from the Lion’s Den, and that’s okay…
But…the point of Daniel 3:18 is that these three young men realized that God might not choose to deliver them in the way that they had hoped. They understood that if they defied the king, they might get tossed into the furnace. But whatever God chose was fine with them because they believed he would act on their behalf…and they put their faith into action.
When you fix your eyes on Jesus and begin acting as if what He said is true, you are in a win-win situation. To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord – that’s in 2 Corinthians 5:8. You can’t lose with Christ.
None of us can promise that trusting God will get you out of your crisis. But we can promise that trust in God will keep you from being in your crisis alone. The author of Hebrews said of Jesus, “who for the joy set before him endured the cross;” that’s in Chapter 12 verse 2. The cross was not something Jesus wanted to endure. But he fixed his eyes on his father in Heaven and the joy that would be his when he had accomplished the father’s will.
Dr. Evans wraps up the segment by sharing something that he says hopes will put steel in your backbone and joy in your heart as you go through the trials of life.
The Bible not only says that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God in heaven, but also that we are seated with Jesus in the heavenly places. That’s in Ephesians 2:6. This is not just something we will enjoy someday when we get to heaven. This is our present reality as believers. So if you feel as if you’re about to lose heart in your trial, before you give up, look up and see Jesus seated at God’s right hand.
And that gives you the access to all the God the father has for you. Keep your eyes on Jesus – the author and perfecter of our faith.
Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Todd