Even If

Even If

In the book of Daniel, three young men stand face to face with the emperor and dare him to carry out his threat and throw them into a furnace.   He has said that unless they worship his idol of gold, they will be burned alive.  They declare that God is able to save them from the fire, but even if God chooses to let them die, they will still be faithful to worship God and God alone. 

This strikes to the heart of my feeble faith, and at the core of the American prosperity gospel.  Even if.  Even if He does not save us from physical pain and even death? Even if He does not do what we want Him to do, what seems good for Him to do, what makes sense for Him to do? Even if He doesn’t demonstrate His power and His favor over our lives or reward our faith right now?

Of course we will pray for the power and mercy of God to be on display in generous provision and miraculous protection.  We pray that God will reveal himself in keeping us from the fire of trial and suffering.  But…even if he does not, by the power of his grace, we will still worship the Lord and will only bow before Him.

Consider a few “even ifs” that bring the magnitude of this faith home to our ordinary lives.

  • Even if my marriage doesn’t improve…
  • Even if my children do not turn to the Lord…
  • Even if my son turns toward sexual sin…
  • Even if my daughter won’t reconcile with me…
  • Even if my boss fires me…
  • Even if my car breaks down…
  • Even if my pastor lets me down…
  • Even if my friend betrays me…
  • Even if my health fails…
  • Even if I see hypocrisy in Christians…
  • Even if my society becomes anti-Christian…
  • Even if my enemy prospers…

Dear Lord, please provide and protect and preserve and deliver, as a testimony to your infinite kindness. But even if there is no fruit on the vines, even if there is drought in my soul, even if the way of the cross looms before me, even if wickedness prospers in the land…yet I will hope in you by the power of your Spirit.  Receive the glory as I lay down every “even if…” at the foot of your cross and find that by trusting your goodness and sovereign wisdom I find true peace.