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"But if Not" - A lesson on Faith from Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

By Mormon.org
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego shown in the fiery furnace.

How many times have we prayed for a particular outcome and when it did not come out the way we envisioned it, all of a sudden we start to doubt everything we knew to be true? How many times have we thought to ourselves does God listen to our prayers? Does He care? Does He even exist?

How we respond in such situations says a lot about where our faith truly lies. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were three men who faced a literal fiery furnace many years ago and their response to this impossible situation was nothing short of amazing.

The three men were given a choice by King Nebuchadnezzar. They could either bow down and worship the golden idol that he had made or they could be placed into a furnace. It doesn’t get much more straightforward than that.

In probably one of the most epic responses ever given to a King, the three men stood their ground and clearly understood where their faith ultimately lied. They understood that their faith rested in Christ and not in some arbitrary outcome that they might have hoped to see.

Quoting from the Old Testament (Daniel 3:17-18):

"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."

How awesome is that?! The three key words from the passage above are “but if not.” They understood that God had the power to deliver them out of the King’s hands.

However, if He chose not to save their lives and allowed them to die at the King’s hands; they would still continue to follow God. They understood that regardless of the outcome (whether they lived or died) that God lived and that He was mindful of them and their situation. Their belief in God was just as strong before going into the fiery furnace as it would be afterwards when God protected them from the fire.

We all understand that God has the power to do anything. However, if He chooses to take a path different from what we want Him to take, do we still trust in Him regardless of the outcomes? Or do we base our faith in God on whether or not particular outcomes meet our own expectations?

How then do we develop faith like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?

1. Perspective

First - We need to take a step back and gain some perspective on our situation. It is always hard to the see big picture when we are only focused on such a small corner of it.

2. Testimony

Second - Gain a strong testimony of Christ. This includes not only believing in Him, but believing Him. When He says that He will be there to comfort you, know that He will. Trust Him and allow Him the time to justify your faith in Him.

portrait of Jesus Christ, who will never leave you comfortless.

3. Resolution

Third – Be resolved to have your faith placed in the idea that regardless of what happens, regardless of how God chooses to bless our lives or not, we will still believe in Him and follow Him down whatever road that may lead us.

Regardless of whether we receive a particular blessing or outcome, we need to understand that Christ is still our Savior. We need to understand that He loves us and that He has a plan for all of us to be happy with our families; and in the end isn’t that the only thing that matters?

To learn more about God, Jesus Christ and their plan for our happiness, chat with a Mormon now.

John Huntinghouse is the cofounder of LDSSMILE.com along with his wife Kara. LDS SMILE seeks to bring both a humorous and uplifting message to those who follow along. 

Twitter: @ldssmile

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