“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 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.” (Daniel 3:16–18, NIV 1984).
“If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:22–24, NIV 1984).
While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. (Luke 5:12–13, NIV 1984).
There was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:7–9).
My Musings – What kind of faith do you have? Is it an “even if he does not” faith? How about an “if you can” kind of faith? Maybe it’s an “if you are willing, you can” faith? Perhaps, it’s a “your grace is sufficient” faith? I think most believers would agree that He “can” but for whatever reason fear that He may not be “willing.” It demonstrates a certain level of maturity to nevertheless keep the faith “even if He does not.” And the pinnacle, no matter what, “your grace is sufficient.“
We’ve probably all been through circumstances where we thought this has to be a situation where He is “willing” only to discover it was a “my grace is sufficient” situation. Or “secretly” doubted if He “can” only to find that He did. Often it is hard to understand why in one situation He does and in others He does not. The true measure of faith is to keep on believing (knowing) that no matter what, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NIV 1984).
There is a very small, but very important word in that text — “in.” We are not assured that all things will be good. But we are assured that even “in” bad situations, God will work them “for the good.” His ways are neither arbitrary nor capricious. We may not understand them at the time, for “[His] thoughts are not [our] thoughts, neither are [His] ways [our] ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are [His] ways higher than [our] ways and [His] thoughts than [our thoughts].” (Isaiah 55:8–9, NIV 1984).
My Advice – Make sure you have responded to His calling and that you love Him. Then rest in His all sufficient grace, and in the assurance that the “Father Knows best.” You too can have an “even if He does not” kind of faith.
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left [lost] home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.” (Luke 18:29–30, NIV 1984). How’s that for working for the good?