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Daniel: Day 9

But If Not, He Is Still Good

by

Today's Text: Daniel 3:1-30, Isaiah 43:2

It was 1940, and the German Wehrmacht had the British Expeditionary and French forces surrounded at Dunkirk, on the northern coast of France. The British Navy couldn’t rescue them, and they couldn’t fight their way out. It looked like no one was going to survive.

The British and French would be safe if they could just get across the English Channel and out of France. But there was no time or resources to stage an evacuation. A British officer sent a three-word telegram to the war offices in London:

“But if not…”

This powerful phrase communicated to the people at home the true straits of the men stranded at Dunkirk: As with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the situation looks hopeless, and we pray God will save us. But if not, we will still be faithful.

Under the cover of fog and night, in small fishing boats, pleasure cruisers, and all manner of small watercraft, piloted by the good people who lived on that coast, 338,000 men were saved.

The testimony of those three brave men stepping into Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace still looms large in our collective imagination, and their words still have the power to teach us. Thankfully, God protected those three men from the flames—and the troops at Dunkirk—but both were prepared to die. They knew we serve a God who is greater than kings and armies. Though the powers of this world threaten us, taunting, What god will be able to rescue you from my hand?, we serve the God who can save.

God doesn’t promise to save us from the flames. But He has promised to be with us as we walk through the fire— and either to rescue us in this life, or through death for our eternal salvation (Isaiah 43).

That’s both comforting and scary, right? Those brave words spoken by brave men sound amazing, but I’m a little nervous when it comes to getting my own hair singed.

Lord, give us confidence in your words. Forge courage for us in the midst of a hostile world. Steel our nerves for long, hard days of quiet faithfulness. Resolve our hearts to follow you in momentous decisions and small choices. Build in us a brave resistance to evil.

Then, when the day of testing comes, we can bravely go in the fire and know that whether we live or die, we serve a God like no other—a God who is able to save.

But if He does not, we will serve Him still.


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  • DoILoveGodUn-Conditionally?

    I am new to having faith in people I can see, much more in a God I cannot. Yet I’ve seen evidence of His existence in other people’s lives, from stories i have read, the Bible, and you all sharing your hearts so openly here. I can say that in some areas of my life I have experienced God, have lived through a few “but if not” periods…but had no idea at those times that was what was happening to me.
    In early April 2016, my now husband and I, in blind faith, packed all our belongings into 2 rented mini vans and drove one way from NYC to my mom’s house in Florida. We left our fulltime jobs with no idea of where we would work in Florida, but believed we were doing as led to. We got married 2 weeks after arriving, and lives off money we had set aside from April to September. During that time we travelled a lot by car, but in August began applying for work. We both applied to so many jobs we got tired applying. Especially since no one was calling back. We took one more necessary trip to NY, and along the way I got a phone call for an interview. I called back letting them know I was out of town, and was told to call them when I got back, which I did. However, even though I was qualified for the job, I didn’t get hired. It was devastating to me. But the same thing happened to me 4 more times! I began to question God and my faith, myself was there some hidden sin that was blocking God from hearing and answering my pleading to bless me with work. My husband got hired in a temp agency from September to mid December 2016. By October 30th, I still had no job, but had nagging from my husband and mom about it. I had to remind them that I have been applying to jobs, but I can’t make someone hire me. I often felt like a burden to them and pleaded with God to end my life so that their life would be easier without them seeing me unemployed each day. But near the end of October, 2 ladies came to my mom’s home to do a cooking demonstration. They talked about nutritional and how our cookware impacts our retaining our nutrients in our food. This intrigued me because I LOVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH NUTRITION. So I was captivated by their presentation, and went to the open house meeting they invited me to on Halloween night. They had few people there because many were out trick or treating. However, I won the grand prize free that night and learned more about this company. I kept going to the open house for about 3 more weeks, and each time I was invited to apply to work with the company. I wanted to but kept hesitating because I knew that it was 100% commissioned based work. Yet no one else was calling me for interviews and I figured what could it hurt me? I didn’t have to invest anything upfront except to have reliable transportation. We only had one car, and on occasion I could use my mom’s. So in faith I signed up, got my initial training, and then it was my turn to try and cook at people’s homes. I had to cook 6 meals…free to the hosts…in 15 days to wind a free piece of the cookware I was demonstrating. I just moved to Florida. I didn’t know anyone really. So who was I going to ask to let me give them agree meal? Then hope they would be convinced to invest in this cookware, that is pretty expensive but with every penny? Well God was already lining them up for me…some of my mom’s friends that she had made in the 4 years she had been here. At the first cooking show, in bad a sale. And it was a big one…the second highest cookware set. And boy was the timing perfect. I had ALL my bills due starting the next week. Then from my second show of 6, I had 2 more sales. Once again the timing was perfect. I continued to do my shows,but had no more sales for a month. Then once again, I had another big sale, and once again, in perfect timing. That was the first week of January 2017. I’ve continued cooking, but no more sales so far. Getting shows booked and having them not be cancelled or reschedule were other challenges I’ve been facing. In December my husband’s temp job needed. He got hired again January 31 to a temporary full-time job at night. He’s trying to get hired permanently on day shift, and closer to home, as right now he commutes at night for 45 minutes. But we are thankful. But wait, there’s more. The last weekend of Janusry, just before my hubby began this new position, we took a trip Alabama to give in our stuff to a close friend to do our taxes, hoping we would get some money to hold us over. Instead, we will owe around $6000.00 to both federal and NY state. While in Alabama we visited a church where a young college student gave them sermon. His title was BUT IF NOT, based out of Daniel, about the 3 Hebrew boys. I had heard that story many times but never like this. It stuck with me. Then we got the news about our taxes the next day. We came back to FL, a bit shocked but what could we do but turn to God. This when it got harder for me. I resumed cooking, praying and hoping claiming promises more than I ever have in my life. God came through for me before financially and otherwise, and on time. Well, this month, February, I kept believing He would do just what He did the last 2 months. Today as I type this, I have a bill due that I have NEVER been late paying. I have more bulls due next week that I have NEVER been late paying. I have had no sales. My husband doesn’t have the money to help me either, because his wages are being garnished for child support, leaving very little. The past 2 weeks as my due dates got closer and no sales were happening, the word BUT IF NOT have been haunting me. I googled, does God care about our FICO score, and paying our bills on time? I actually did. The results led me to some interesting info about what FICO scores are all about, and strangely it gave me a bit a peace the if God chose NOT to help me on my time line to continue paying my bills on time, will I be able to say He is still good….to continue to worship and praise Him and develop the faith of the Hebrew boys? Will I love God unconditionally anyway? I’m struggling, but by His grace and through my tears, being the type a perfectionist that I’ve become, I bravely say, I hope I will love God unconditionally….no matter the outcome. It was hard for me to share this, but I hope it encourages someone else. In front of all of you who may read this I declare, But if God does not , He is still good…He is still my God, I will still worship and praise Him, like Job did. Praise You Holy all knowing wonderful God. praise YOU. You know the big picture, so I will trust YOU!!!! Amen!!!!.

    • Thank you for sharing your story and for walking by faith day by day by day. I am reminded of some lessons from a recent women’s event I was blessed to attend. I hope they bless you as well:

      From Encouragement Cafe:

      Don’t look at one piece of your story and think it is the whole story.

      Steward your story. God didn’t give it to you to keep it to yourself.

      Jesus never wastes the broken pieces. (John 6)

      Is your faith an accessory or a necessity?

      Instead of asking “Why?”, ask “What do I need to learn? Who do I need to help?”

      Just because a path is straight doesn’t mean it has no ups and downs. (Prov. 3:5-6)

  • I shared this a few months back when I first read this devotional that was attached to a friend’s FB page. This is my response to the loss of our first baby.

    The Bible verses are talking about when three young men were going against their captive king’s demands for worship of a statue he made, and they publicly refused to turn against God. If they didn’t change their minds and bow down, they would be killed by being thrown into a raging fire. Their response when asked if their “God” could save them………..
    “If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. BUT IF NOT, be it known to you, O king, that we will never serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. {3: 17-18 || ESV}
    The author of “She Reads Truth” wrote a section below, and I continued after her with my thoughts during this season:

    “But if not…”
    I feel like that’s the rally cry of my faith. I hold on to the idea that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had. I believe that God will show up, that He will show up here on Earth and move in His people and move mountains.
    “But, if not…”
    He is still good. He is still the King Most High. He alone is still worthy of our worship. It is still worth it. It would be far better for me to perish than to live a life of bowing down to a lesser god.

    I have hopes. I have desires. If I’m honest, sometimes I hope God’s desires line up with my desires for my life, not the other way around….
    -She Read Truth
    ————————–
    (My addition to this devotional:)

    …..But I also know that no matter what, I trust my Heavenly Father who made me. I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. He is still good, even when my circumstances change. I am loved unconditionally, and no tear I have cried will go unnoticed. I don’t need to know why bad things happen. I know that there will be healing, and I am being held by the One who made the universe. He loves me with such a passionate and uncontainable love that reaches into my heart and fills it with a peace and comfort only He can give. I will sing; I will have joy restored, and I do have a future and a hope….I will trust Him no matter what. And
    “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
    Psalm 27:13 NIV

    • Michelle

      This devotional was a blessing has I go through not knowing want my desire to be line up with God praying that I can be like these three, and your comment was even more a blessing thank u

    • Daisy

      Yes! Amen! Thank you for sharing He is truly good!

  • Love this, such a good reminder. -God doesn’t promise to save us from the flames. But He has promised to be with us as we walk through the fire— and either to rescue us in this life, or through death for our eternal salvation (Isaiah 43).

  • Heather

    I’m just now reading this study. And the world is mourning with France after the terrorist attacks in Paris. The fire came, and will likely come again in the days to come. God is still good. We pray for deliverance…but if not…God is still good. We will still serve him. We will still stand strong and proclaim His name.

    • Rachael Lynn

      Just reading today and realizing how timely this book still is!! We may soon be under the rule of those who worship false gods and may be tortured for our faith in the one true God! So many good lessons in these passages

  • Tiffany P.

    I love what Beth Moore says in her Daniel study; God will put you in a fiery furnace (trials/tribulations) to free you from your bondage and keep you from smelling like smoke (carrying shame/guilt/etc).

    The only thing that had been burned in the furnace for those 3, had been the bondage around their arms. The even walked out of the furnace without smelling like smoke!!

  • Claudia Pannetti

    I love this message especially in today’s world and culture. Who would have thought that we would be in a kinda similar situation as Christians living today. We are faced with insurmountable distortions of Gods Word lately. Gods word is truth! ALL of it! Either we who claim to love Christ hold fast to its teachings or we will be swept away with the lies and deceptions the enemy throws at us. We must stand firm for Gods truth in the swirls of culture lies. God is faithful!! He has proven to be faithful time and time again through the ages and in our own lives. He will always be with us..no matter what obstacle we face, no matter how scary or hard things may seem, greater is He that is in us than he who is in the world!

  • These words are exactly what I needed. It is in these moments that my faith in Him brings much excitement and assurance. He is with me in these hard times and His message is loud and clear.

  • Amen and Amen!!! Lord may we have the same confidence in you as the 3 who we were tested! Abba increase our faith in you for you God are always good! A challenging devotion! Thank you. Thank you Father! There is NONE like you! But if not…… I too will forever remain faithful! In Jesus name. Amen.

  • What a great way to start my day. To be reminded that no matter what the circumstances are, God is bigger and is in control. He is STILL GOOD.

  • Patricia

    I’m catching up on Daniel, and today’s reading has made it a challenge for this chick not to break down into her spicy chicken sandwich, sobbing in awe over a mighty God and his faithful servants. The blog post made it even harder. I continue to pray for the hearts and minds, leadership and walk of everyone behind SRT. Y’all bring it every day.

  • I love how determined they are. There is not a question in their minds who they will serve, there isn’t the slightest hesitation to fall into that fiery furnace. Many of my sins come from hesitation, or from not determining beforehand that I will serve the Lord. This is a humbling reminder to me to choose God and His ways first, and let the chips fall where they may! They will fall in pleasant places I’m sure, like the psalmist says. :)

  • Jennifer C

    If my timeline of Israel (the one in my brain!) serves correctly, these guys would have had the words of Isaiah available to them: ” When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
    when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.” Wow! Can you imagine recalling those words in that situation, and not just as a promise of eternal life, but the realization that you ACTUALLY WERE NOT BURNED?? What a powerful picture of a promise keeping God!

  • Remembering how God came through for Daniel with the dream in Chapter 2 probably helped them be stout-hearted. Too often, we look at where we fall short or where we feel were are lacking follow through or answers from God. How might we change if, instead, we focused our memories and attention on all the ways we have been strong and all the ways He has come through for us?

    These guys don’t have if/then thinking (we’ll obey if we get what we want, etc.) They say something more like if/and. Their faith is not conditional on what they’ll get in return nor is it conditional on what they’ve already received.

    This is Old Testament, too! How much more powerful is it for us now that we’ve been promised salvation?! Ultimate salvation?!

  • They didn’t even smell of smoke!!!! Can you believe it!? That to me is amazing in itself. God really was proving his power and might just that much more!

    Also, I find it interesting that King Neb states in verse 26, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!”…. He recognized that these 3 guys were servants of God, yet he still kept going against it and didn’t get what God was trying to do. How many times are we like that, God tries to tell us over and over and show us over and over, yet we are so thick skulled we, just like Neb, don’t get it.

    Help me, Lord, to see you in all areas of my life and not to lose focus from you! Help me to serve you regardless of circumstance.

    Wonderful study! I look forward to each day! The book of Daniel is so amazing!

  • Has anyone ever noticed that the "but if not" in this passage could be referring to… but if Neb does not throw them into the furnace…then we will STILL not serve your God? In verse 15, Neb gives these guys a surprising 2nd chance. As I read it I am reminded that bc of the favor God placed on Daniel Neb "liked" these guys. They were valuable to him. So it seems like he is stalling when he says…"If you are ready"…(let me repeat myself) when you hear the music hit the deck and then we can forget this ever happened. Interesting…when before he has acted harshly and seemingly without a second thought. "But if you do not worship the statue…then bye-bye. Who is the god who can save you?" V. 16 records the amazing faith of these men, "OUR GOD is ABLE to deliver us and he WILL do it!" AMAZING FAITH. Then comes the "but if not" in question. But if not, can not mean but if he doesn't deliver us, bc if he doesn't deliver them they would be dead. There would be no need to discuss who they would be worshipping or not worshipping. So I have come to read it as but if you do not throw us in the furnace, we will STILL never worship the statue. Read it again and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  • mandakirk2014

    I was actually saying these words earlier today….even before I had my quiet time. "If not, You are stil good." I found out my Grandma's medical procedure she had today landed her in ICU and she was bleeding so bad she had to have a transfusion. Having lost my Nana only 6 months ago, I was immediately stricken by sadness and my heart hurt. I cried out to God and prayed that he would take care of the situation. My hope is that when I face those hard times, I follow Job's example in Job 1:20. After having just lost everything, Job fell on the ground and worshiped. That's sends such a huge message to me. I want to face everything being able to lift my hands and praise God through it. I think it says a lot about our faith when we are truly able to do this. It is something I strive for daily. So as I wait, I know that God has heard my tearful prayer and will take care of her. Last I heard she is in stable condition. <3

  • I am reminded of the young girl from Columbine who stood when the gunmen asked if anyone was a Christian. She was shot because she stood. I think of her often. I don’t know her name or have never met her but she made a huge impact in my life. Because she had the faith of a mustard seed and knew God would rescue her however he chose, she impacted the lives of so many people. She knew “and if not, he is still good”. I pray I have that faith and trust. I haven’t gone through much trials but I know they will come. And I pray now for the strength and faith to have an “if not” faith!!!!

    • Katherine

      Love this. I took a snapshot of your text here and am saving it in my notes in my phone. God has just blessed me through you!

    • Rachael Lynn

      Her name was Rachel Scott and there’s a book written about her called “she said yes” that’s really great!

  • My husband and I and our three kids are preparing to pack up our family and move 900 miles away from everything we have ever known to start a church with a pastor and his family. Throughout all of the trials of selling our home and trying it understand God’s plan, my mantra has been “And if not, He is still good.” He is good. Whether my prayers are answered or not, He is good. Whether we find jobs or not, He is good. Whether the church flourishes or not, He is good. You guys, HE IS GOOD. And he loves us. And he fights for us. And he would give anything for us, because He is good.

  • I needed this today. This is my second week back to work/ first week back with kids as a Special Ed. Teacher after a wonderful summer of pretending to be a stay at home mommy to my precious one year old. I have prayed for and yearned to be a stay at home mom since long before she was born. This week has felt like betrayal. It has felt like I am betraying her, and like I have been betrayed by God. I have not wanted to read my bible or be in a study because I am so angry. But tonight, I feel the Lord gently calling to me. I am a great mom. My prayer of being at home with her will get answered. And if not; He is still good!! He is still good, and I am a good mother. He is still good and I am a good teacher. I am using the gifts he gave me to love other children as my own. He is good.

    • Joanna

      Yes!! I work with special ed teens and adults and seeing how often they are pushed aside or mistreated, I am always SO grateful to anyone who can give part of themselves for their betterment. The beautiful qualities God has graced you with in regards to your own child can be shared with those who crave even a second of someone’s time, much less their love. Wishing you a fulfilling year!

  • I think this is a great message. I can see how people would think that His love is conditional- but I think it’s more that we have to trust in his plan for us. Which sometimes might be traveling with the light and sometimes it might be walking through fire. Either way we have to be faithful and understand that this is His plan for us and he will love us through it and after it.

  • Can we get today’s “But if not…” graphic as a lock screen wallpaper? I’ve been so clinging to that verse recently.

  • One thing I have been struggling with is overcoming the idea that God’s love is conditional. I think, “if I do _____, then God will ______.” I fear God will punish me for my wrongdoings however small they might be. The story of Shadrach, Meshsach, and Abednago is problematic for me; they obeyed God but still faced death. Yet, they appear to be an example of faith saving them. What if God hadn’t saved them though – would that have made them less faithful or God less loving? I know the obvious answer is yes, but applying that to my own life is tough.

    • Sarah_Olsen

      I’ve noticed great personal growth by examining my actual relationship with God. Would I love God even if he didn’t offer me salvation? Yes! He is so great and so amazing. If you can find ways to LOVE God, the rest all falls to the side. You’re in my prayers sister :)

    • carlybenson

      Hi Angela- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego showed amazing faith by putting their trust in God regardless of the outcome in their situation. I don't think it was their faith that saved them though. There was no guarantee over the outcome, but they were willing to accept that and to stand firm for God even if it meant death. God could have chosen not to save them- there are times when he doesn't answer our prayers in the way we want and often we can't understand why- but I don't think it makes them less faithful or God less loving. God sees the big picture while we only see a small part. The challenge is to keep trusting him even when we don't understand or things don't go our way.
      As for the idea that God's love is conditional, the devotion from Day 5 talked about that a bit. It all depends on what Jesus has done, not on what we do, and when we confess our sins to God we are forgiven. God is not going to punish us because Jesus has taken the punishment for us. Praying for you- that you will really know how much God loves you and that nothing can change that.

      • Beverly

        Yes! God's goodness and faithfulness do not depend on us. He is good. He is love. He is faithful. His plans prevail. We only need to keep trusting in spite of what our circumstances say. Thanks, Carly.

  • Today brought me to tears. I have had so many "But if not…" opportunities in my life. Some I have seized with "He is still good," and others I have fought Him. No matter what dream goes unfulfilled, no matter what prayer seems to go unanswered, no matter when I don't understand, I want to choose to say, "He is still good!"

  • Oh how I needed this this morning, as much as I need prayers. I am in desperate need of a job and my money is almost gone. I live in one of the most expensive cities in the US and have been trying so hard to trust God in this season. Money and trust are a big issue for me that are often a roadblock to complete trust. Growing up my family never had enough money, declaring bankruptcy, and we are all still struggling. It becomes a question of why wouldn't God just provide for us? Why do all of us have to always be struggling? This stops me in moments of doubt from being able to have a peaceful, trusting, complete relationship with God. I don't want to listen to Him and its hard to let that bitterness go. I'm rambling now but I was moved by these words of faith "We can bravely go in the fire and know that whether we live or die, we serve a God like no other—a God who is able to save. But if He does not, we will serve Him still." I want to be in that place. But I need prayer and support from this wonderful community, and prayers for a job to make itself quickly available.

    • Beverly

      Praying for you, Kaela. That God would meet your needs in His perfect timing. And that He would continue to draw you nearer to His heart in faith.

  • KLeighWilson

    Feeling wonderfully small and at peace this morning after reading this. The story isn't about me, but Him. Thank you Jesus for rescuing us from ourselves, that even in those moments when we can't see through the flames, your grace gives us the strength to say "It is well with my soul."

  • Something that encouraged me in a sermon last week:

    The goodness of God determines our circumstances.

    Whatever is happening around us, we can be joyful because we are walking in grace! From His fullness we have received grace upon grace. Whatever is happening around us, the Lord is still good. The original deception in the garden was that God is holding out on us. There is something he's not telling us, some gift he's keeping from us. But, sisters, this is not true! He lavishes love upon us!

    I suggest Philippians to anyone going through a tough time–look at how joyful Paul is as he sits in a dank, dark, lonely prison!

  • Besides Shadrach, Medhach, and Abednego’s bravery and faithfulness to God no matter what; what also struck me was the question of how much time passed between Daniel chapter 2 and 3. At the end of chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar is praising God and saying how wonderful He is. Then in the first sentence of chapter 3, he’s built a statue, or idol, and is commanding everyone to worship it. How long did it take him to get pulled away from his conviction of Holy God? What events happened that brought him back to worshiping himself? Nebuchadnezzar’s lack of faith or weak faith further demonstrates the strength and depth of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s faith.

  • He is able. But if he doesn’t do thing the way I imagine he should….he is faithful and good.
    Loved this.

  • Sarah_Olsen

    Sisters, I love your beautiful testimonies! They make my Spirit jump for joy and I am so ever glad that we all can come together to worship the amazing most high God together, despite our sometimes seemingly tragic situations.
    Oh, but sisters, I see this on a whole new level.
    "If it be so, our God we serve will deliver us out of 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." KJV

    Is it at all possible (and I believe so with a revelation from God!), that this message is speaking to us eternally?
    Our God will deliver us out of hell (eternal), because of the blood Jesus spilled for us, but if not, be it known unto thee, O world, that we will not serve you or worship any idols you present.
    Jesus has made it completely possible for someone completely bad like me to enter into heaven and be saved from the eternal fiery furnace. And God will deliver on that promise. But if He does not, be it because of a sin I have yet to repent from, I firmly believe that God will not save me because He is just and righteous and HOLY and we are NOT. IF God judges me and sees that I am not worthy to enter heaven, I still choose to worship Him. I choose to worship God, to follow God, to serve God fully and wholly, even if He chooses not to save me from the fiery furnace.
    AMEN!

    • Dominique

      None of us will ever be worthy to enter heaven by our own merits. That is the point of Jesus’ death on our behalf; he has saved us by grace. Please don’t ever think that there is a sin that could cause God to take away your salvation or your eternal life!

      For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭8-9‬ NIV)

      • Sarah_Olsen

        Thank you for your response. You are correct, we are saved by grace! Praise Jesus!!!
        The point of my comment was to express my love for God. That I do not love God because of what he offers. I do not love God because He offers me salvation, but because of who He is! I love God because He is just, and righteous, and merciful, and compassionate, and holy, and faithful. This verse speaks to me because it shows me even more, that I should love Him, even if he does not save me.

  • A PEACH IN ITALY

    I love this story and the verse from Isaiah that goes along with it

    " When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
    when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you." Is 43:1

    May I remember God, these men, this verse in my darkest hours.

    There is a great clip from the History Channel for this chapter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH9H1osWZeU

  • Friends, I have struggled and toiled for a professional life, that perfect job which would add purpose and meaning to my life. That ideal way that I would spend my days. The truth is that I have sought my identity in a career and idolized work. And every time I come up short (my path is messy) I feel like an utter and complete failure. I wallow. I cry out to God.
    My struggle is selfish, I know…
    After a decade of this battle and in a season of not working, I feel a nudge deep in my heart… what if this life I seek so desperately is not God’s way for me? Would I still believe Him, trust Him, serve Him? And if it is His way, can I serve Him more than my work?
    O Lord, please set me free from a line of people who have sought their

    • Beverly

      … identity in their work. Owning where I come from and praying that Your ways and Your will be greater in my life than my own. Praying for wholehearted faith. Thank you, Lord, for providing during this time. Grateful that you draw me nearer your heart each day.
      Believing once again… you will deliver me. But if it’s not the way I imagine, not my way, You are still good and I will choose to serve You from a faithful heart. Grow on me a heart that pleases You. A heart that seeks Your favor first. A heart for relationship.

  • [email protected]

    Oh how I desire this kind of bravery! Forged of steel and ready to stand when tested. I firmly believe that bravery and courage are built in the quiet times. Our resolve is built before we are tested. So may we let these words penetrate our souls as we prepare our hearts for whatever fiery furnace awaits us.

    "Lord, give us confidence in your words. Forge courage for us in the midst of a hostile world. Steel our nerves for long, hard days of quiet faithfulness. Resolve our hearts to follow you in momentous decisions and small choices. Build in us a brave resistance to evil."

    Brilliant words for us today. Thank you!

  • I went through a fire 2 years ago. I had a devastating brain stem bleed leaving me with stroke like symptoms. At 40, with 2 kids and Husband who adores you and a life that seems to be going in the right direction, this was surreal. You know what, God is faithful. All the promises ive read for years in the scripture came alive. He does work all things for good for those who love him. He gives peace that passes all understanding. He strengthens, he never leaves. Today Im grateful for the trial, as I was then. I met God in a way I never would have experienced any other way. Fransis Chan retells a story in his book "forgotten God" He tells of some missionaries who where held in prison by the Taliban. they never knew from day to day if their lives would be spared. They were tortured but not forgotten by God. They met the Lord there. He became more real to them than their circimstances. Today they are out and home but they have not forgotten the experience they had with God and to this day they miss the prison because Gods presence was so great there. I feel the same way. I miss the presence I felt as I went through that trial. It was in the fire I was closest to God. I wonder if the 3 amigos ( I like to call them that) felt that way? I bet they did. They spent the rest of their lives dreaming of the day they would be with God like that forever. You may think, Why cant we have God like that all the time? I don't know. There is a humbling that takes place, I know that. A place where all your "idols" disappear, like family worry, money, vacations, and all you focus on is God. You realize that He is the only one that matters. Nothing else, just his presence. Ill spend the rest of my life drawing near to God. He is Good. exodus 14:14

  • Kelley Anne

    Good morning sweet sisters! I have been following along for the past 3 or 4 studies and been encouraged by so many stories and testimonies of faith. But today I felt the Lord leading me to post here for the first time. I am a proud newlywed military wife. My husband and I were married last July and planned to finish out the end of his contract and be back to the “real world” by this past summer. I had never imagined being a military spouse and was very resistant to the idea of it especially since I would only be in that role for a year or so. But God had other plans for us. When the time came for him to renew his contract or get out, we both felt the Lord calling him to renew. So we signed on for 2 more years. He deployed in June and even as hard as it was that day, I was at peace knowing this would be the last time I would have to send him off on a deployment. But God had even bigger plans for us. My husband called me last week and told me a huge opportunity had presented itself but would require a 5 year commitment with a 6 months home/ 6 months deployed schedule. I was in shock. We have both been praying about this for over a week now. The Lord has changed my heart and allowed me to embrace this lifestyle by putting phenomenal, Godly women in my life for support and encouragement. Selfishly I want my husband here, with me. That’s why we got married right? But the Lord has given me peace about this situation. Whether my husband is here with me or called elsewhere, God is still good. Whether we are together or thousands of miles apart, God is still good. And even in the darkest, loneliest nights where all I want is my husband next to me, God is still good.

    • churchmouse

      Thank you for your faithfulness in listening to God’s leading. Our daughter’s boyfriend leaves tomorrow for a 3 month deployment, number 9 for him. I ask your prayers for them as you ‘have been there.’ They are strong Christians seeking His will for their relationship.

      • Kelley Anne

        Praying for both of them and that God will draw them both even closer to Him during their time apart. Praying God’s safety over her boyfriend and strength for your daughter. Also praying for you as you comfort and encourage your daughter through the next 3 months

    • Alicia

      Bless you and your husband. My husband is not military, and I'd often thought how "I could never do that", "I could never handle that lifestyle". Last year, a job opportunity required him to leave home and pursue training in another state for a month. One month. A tiny snapshot compared to the lives of military families. It was so hard for me and I prayed and cried every day. But I know it made me stronger and our marriage stronger, and I know God will continue to bless your lives and your marriage because you have the courage to put your faith in Him. I have nothing but respect for you!

  • My heart was weary this morning as I sat down at my desk, knowing that my sweet man was sitting in a waiting room. I knew I needed to focus, so I went to today's reading, and God met me here.

    Earlier this summer, a sweet mentor sat me down and asked me, "What happens in several months when you are deeply in love with your man, and God hasn't healed him yet, what happens when things don't turn out the way you planned, what happens when your fears come true? JULIA, is God still GOOD?" — I choked, is God still good?

    I wrestled with that for a few weeks. It was a testing of my soul, my heart knew that God would still be good, but my head wasn't sure. Then it hit me, God is good, God was Good, and God will be GOOD.

    My summer days tested that, they were defined by "long, hard days of quiet faithfulness", trusting in His goodness, and His faithfulness. The days haven't been perfect, and my courage has been forged by God. I type this as I wait to hear word back on how a very important Doctors appointment is going. I know that God is bigger than his Lyme Disease, God is bigger than my fears, God is bigger than us. I will continue to trust Him, and I will continue to pray, beg, and plead for healing, because I know God can heal — but if not, God is still Good.

    • shereadstruth

      Thank you so much for sharing today, Julia. I'm grateful for the story God's writing about His glory in your life. Humbled you would share it with us today! Blessings to you, friend.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Rachel Sweatt

    Man those last two paragraphs were completely beautiful and inspiring. What a beautiful prayer. Thank you!

  • This is EXACTLY what I needed today. I am going to a new doctor to try and resolve some medical issues I have been dealing with for over a year, and I am SO SCARED they won’t be able to help. I try to trust in God, but my body is so broken and exhausted.

    “But if not, He is still good.” Clinging to this today!

  • Caroline

    I love Isaiah 43! So glad the fire won't consume us! But if not, HE is still good!!!! YES
    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • I remember being in church one Sunday and the sermon was about standing up under the persecution of death. I remember going to the pastor with this concern because I never want to deny my sweet Jesus. The pastor replied that God would give us the the words to say and the faith to stand when we need it.

  • scootermae

    I have always loved the details in this story. Not only did God save them, but they we're not even singed OR smelled like smoke. Having come from camping recently, everything smelled like smoke and how the hairs on my arm were singed when I got too close! And they were thrown into a furnace multiple times hotter than any campfire. They were thrown in bound, yet walked unbound. Physically impossible to be near fire that hot and not have any evidence of it after the fact. God was in all the details!

  • rmwiggy94

    a year ago at this time i found myself in a "but if not" moment. i was sad and angry because things had not gone how i thought they were supposed to. it certainly wasn't a life or death situation like with these three men, but it was hard. it was faith-testing. the day after i was completely devastated, i randomly flipped open my Bible and started reading. i had opened to this chapter in daniel and wow! my attitude completely changed right then because i realized that God is still good, even though i didn't get what i wanted. and i also realized that i hadn't "randomly" turned to this passage. God saved it for me to read right at the time because He knew i needed it. since that time, He has blessed me with that one thing that i had wanted, and because it was in His timing, it's so much better than what it would have been! He's so good to me. i pray i will continue to hope and trust in Him, even in times of "but if not."

    • Beverly

      I had a similar experience. I love how you say, “because it was in His timing, it’s so much better than it would have been!” I could not agree more. And I’m grateful for your words from your experience – thank you for sharing. A great reminder to keep trusting and hoping in Him!

  • Catherine Gabrielsen

    wrote this prayer after reading:
    If I go through fire,

    You'll go with me.

    It might get hot,

    But you won't let me burn.

    Thank you for promising me this

    And so many other things

    through your word

    Amen.

  • Ejidia Njoki

    Soo good my sister,you have màde my day,God bléss you.even if we fèel like we are pushed to a corner one thing we know is God is with us like the way He was with Shadrac,Misheck and Abednego.love you Rachel.

  • Teri Lynne Underwood

    As I read through this familiar passage twice this morning, I was reminded again this isn't a story about the three men in the furnace, it is God's story. He is good and faithful and sovereign. My circumstances never change His character but they are always opportunities for Him to refine my character and my faith.

  • I want to remember, “but if not.” I want that kind of faith when I’m facing the biggest trials of my life.

  • I sit here in my beautiful home thinking , "BUT IF NOT". each one of us has a different path to walk, That is why as I remember those in other countries who are suffering because of there faith I pray that the Lord would surround them. Some times what happens is not what I want but God's
    ways are not my ways and everything he does has purpose for ourselves or other. The word says so, I believe it. God is good all the time!
    My hope is that each child in Christ will truly breath this truth in and see the miracles that He has planned for us.
    Have a great day in Christ, sisters!

  • This scripture was what God had planned long ago for this day and this time for me to read. In the fire right now, but that is where Christ meets me, and when He walks me out, all will praise God.
    “Lord, give us confidence in your words. Forge courage for us in the midst of a hostile world. Steel our nerves for long, hard days of quiet faithfulness. Resolve our hearts to follow you in momentous decisions and small choices. Build in us a brave resistance to evil.” Amen, let it be.

  • heylover56

    This is a great reminder to me that we are not telling God what to do when we pray, we are reminding Him of His promises and reminding ourselves that even if it doesn't end like we think it should, He still loves us and He is still good.

  • It is so easy to sit comfortably on my sofa and drink my coffe and reflect on how much I love God. It is easy to assume that put in a life or death situation I would always choice God but when I REALLY make myself think about it, my heart wonders what my decision would come to. I pray that God will “build in me a brave resistance to evil”. That my decision will ALWAYS be him. Live or die, my God is greater and has saved me from myself.

    • shereadstruth

      Praying that with you today, Katie! We love having you in our community!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • I loved when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego tell Nebuchadnezzar that “He can rescue” from the burning fire and the power of the King. According to my HCSB Study Bible, the word “rescue” is an imperfect Aramaic verb, “yeseziv”, which in this context indicates a possibility and not certainty.

    I love that definition of the word rescue. They were saying God might deliver them or He might choose not to do so. Their faith in God did not rest on the belief that He would perform a miracle, but that their sovereign could be trusted.

    Lord, help me have a trusting faith like these 3 men.

    • Stacy

      I love learning about word definitions, this really helped put the verse in context for me. Thank you!

  • We want what we want . . . so badly. Sometimes it's life we are begging from God. Sometimes it's time. Sometimes it's health or wealth or dreams and it often involves those we love best. BUT IF NOT . . . How do we become okay with not getting what we want? I've found this verse is a great place to start: "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4. The key? Taking delight in the Lord . . . this lines up our desires with God's. And then when we pray, it shifts our desires out of our hands and into God's. So we can say: BUT IF NOT . . . and God's plan, God's glory is served instead of our own. Not that this is easy, but God IS good.

    • Megan LeVan

      This reminds me of little children – toddlers. :-) Isn’t that one of the first lessons we teach? “You are loved, you are cared for, but you will NOT get everything you want!” And we expect our children to trust our judgment and respect our rules, even when they don’t understand.

  • Every word of this prayer was spot on. Praying this for myself, all the women doing this and for the church in general. May we resolve our hearts to follow you in momentous decisions and small choices. Build in us a resistance to evil & let us remember that we serve a God who is able to save, but if he does not we will serve him still.

  • When I read of Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego (or Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah if we want to use their true names) I see them in this huge moment- on stage, in front of everyone in the kingdom. And I hope that if I'm ever confronted with such a huge challenge, whether it be public or private, that I would stand for God and boldly declare my faith regardless of the outcome. But I so appreciate Rebecca's devotion- it is also in the small things, the "long, hard days of quiet faithfulness". Am I choosing to trust God in my private struggles, my small battles with the same boldness and certainty that He is good? Prayerful this morning that this would be my response in every situation big or small…But if not, He is still good.

    • Diana

      I remember being in church one Sunday and the sermon was about standing up under the persecution of death. I remember going to the pastor with this concern because I never want to deny my sweet Jesus. The pastor replied that God would give us the the words to say and the faith to stand when we need it.

  • Deb Black

    What a powerful promise in Isaiah 43–

    When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

    Isaiah 43:2 ESV

    As I read and cry and pray through the study today and through the comments and testimony’s of you, my sisters, I am in awe of God’s faithfulness! I have known for a long time that I am beyond blessed and that the trials that I think I have faced pale in comparison to some, but, God is revealing to me even as I type that the trial is not the point – He is! And He is always faithful – your stories are so encouraging. Not because they are tragic or sad but because you are testifying of His faithfulness in the worst fire of your life! Thank you all for sharing deeply personal trials – in your sharing, you encourage others that may be in the midst of their own trial to completely trust the outcome to the Lord, regardless of whether the ending looks like we think it should or not. He is faithful and His plan is perfect!

    I’m very humbled this morning and I pray that if the fire burns hotter than ever before that I will remember His promise that He will not leave me to walk through it alone.

  • But if not.
    Lord, I have prayed this before, many times. Give me the faith of these amazing inspirations of men.

  • Candacejo

    This may be my simplest reply and definitely an oldie, but I can't get the words out of my head for this particular lesson!

    So many times I've questioned certain circumstances and things I did not understand
    Many times in trials my weakness blurred my vision and my frustration gets so out of hand
    That's when I am reminded I've never been forsaken, I've never had to stand one test alone!
    As I look at all the victories, the Spirit rises up in me, it's through the fire my weakness is made strong

    He never promised that the cross would not get heavy
    Or the hill would not be hard to climb
    He never offered our victories without fighting
    But He said help would always come in time
    Just remember when you're standing in the valley of decision
    And the adversary says, "Give in!"
    Just hold on! Our Lord will show up and He will take you through the fire again! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdK-HUK6OhE

    • Jennifer

      One of my favorites.. Love it!! Thank you…

    • MNmomma (heather)

      thank you for sharing!!!! very powerful and true lyrics…

    • Brendasan01

      Thank you for sharing that song. I've never heard it before but its powerful!

    • tina

      I love this song…very very VERY powerful words and song…Thank you Candacejo for sharing ….off to listen to it again…Blessings Andover to the Sweetheart and all around..xxx

  • There was a season I'd committed to something I was deathly afraid of. My husband had come to me with the notion saying that God laid it on his heart and he felt we were to consider it. I was vehemently against it at first but agreed to pray it over…in my head saying, "there is no way". Over the course of six months, God asked me to give up my fear over the topic. I slowly came to agreement, again negotiating in my head the likelihood of it anyhow. The issue was having a third baby. We, us and many physicians, had agreed after our second that it wasn't a wise decision. My pregnancies were rough ones and the second nearly took my life and my daughter's … I'd never felt so close to leaving this world and wanted to be assured that I'd see my living kids grow, but God softened my heart, although I'd thought I'd never get pregnant anyway, this was not easy for me either. Boy did God prove me wrong. I joke that He knew my heart would bail and secured that life in me the first try to ensure His will over mine. I went into that pregnancy prayerful, hopeful and scared. I covered myself in prayer that things would go well and that this one would be different, BUT if not, God was still God and He would always be good. Short of it is, that each passing day, as my pregnancy neared the 22nd week, a time I'd be more at risk, I grew more and more nervous and more and more prayerful. I knew God would be with me, but I wanted to see this baby live and I wanted to live to enjoy it. I was afraid, but hopeful, afraid, but encouraged, afraid, but trusting, afraid, but peaceful. The strangest combination of feelings all wrapped up in one and it's only because God is God. This time, God lead me to an amazing team of physicians and surrounded me with community who blanketed me in prayer and encouragement and though I became sick still and my son born nearly 7 weeks early, it was better and we both live to give God the glory. We had all hoped for a different outcome, all prayed about a full term, healthy pregnancy experience for us both, but alas, it wasn't to be. My disappointment in it was nonexistent because God is good and I held in my arms the sweet babe I thought I would never have. God didn't bless me with the prayers, in their entirety, that I sought, but He blessed me, none the less. I still became sick, I still had a wee infant, I still don't have this beautiful and perfect labor story and our lives still hung in the balance, but nothing like my daughter's birth and when he came, our son, defied the odds and marveled the physicians and we got to praise God in it all. God is good, in all things and in all seasons.

    Prayerful that as life throws me curve balls, be they big or little, I remember His goodness and praise His sweet name despite. That I cast away any fear and turn to Him to walk with me through the furnaces of this life and deliver me whether in this world or the next. ~ B

    • Dianem

      B- Thank you so much for sharing. Reading everyone's entries this morning has cause me to out right bawl, but they've also made me realize how blessed I am and have been. Rejoicing for you, your "wee" infant and beautiful family. May God continue to bless you and your family. GOD is
      GOOD!!

    • MNmomma (heather)

      What a beautiful statement of faith in action!!! And a powerful reminder: God is good, in all things and in all seasons!!!

    • tina

      Ah, Dear heart…I felt I was in those moments with you….I could say it no other way…. but that GOD IS GOOD…He truly truly is!!!!

      Praising God for the gift of children, and for the safe and 'unexpected' outcome for your sons delivery…and yours…Glad you are here and my friend….lots of love to ALL….xx

    • Beverly

      What a beautiful story of great faith, B! He is so much greater than our fears and disappointments. He is good, in all seasons because He never leaves us. He is with us always. Resting in His presence and His goodness. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • This immediately made me start singing Gwinny Owens’ song in my head:

    So if all of these trials
    Bring me closer to you
    Then I will go through fire if you want me to
    It may not be the way I would have chosen
    When you lead me through a world that’s not my home
    But you never said it would be easy
    You only said I’d never go alone

    I originally used this song and these phrases to encourage my family as my father in law went through pancreatic cancer treatment. Sometimes when you have little to no hope it’s easier to give it all up to God, but I also need to learn that I need to allow God to be my focus (and not try to control) every day small trials. He is walking with you no matter how scary or how small the situation.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Oh man, those words are so powerful and true! I don't know if I've heard that song….googling it now :) Thanks!

    • Amy N.

      Thank you! My dad was just diagnosed with cancer, and this song is perfect. God is good.

  • Samantha Clarke

    Wow, thank you for the assurance.

  • Catherine

    Even if we go though fire, he is with us! It might Get hot, but it will not burn us!! Grateful for this!! ❤️

    • hannah

      What they were saying was that there was the possibility they would get burned, and even if they did, God would still be good. We need to acknowledge that we aren't guaranteed physical rescue. Otherwise, we can become jaded think that God didn't keep his promises, when really, we misunderstood His promise in the first place.

  • Definitely a word in season for me. Its so comforting to know that He's the fourth man in the midst of it all and that He does'nt promise that we will not go through trials and tribulations(fire) but He does promise He will be with us and am thankful for the conviction that even….. if not… You're still good Lord. Ah!!! such great faith and adoration. Father God we thank you for the trust and faith deposited in us. Its all by your grace.

  • carlybenson

    V17-18 have been in my mind ever since they were the Weekly Truth verses on Sunday. Last summer one of my closest friends attempted suicide 4 times and one night she was texting me, feeling suicidal, and I was desperately trying to talk her out of it and say something that would give her hope. I was praying for the right words but I remember having to face the reality that there was no guarantee- despite my prayers she could easily kill herself and there was nothing I could do, no way to force God to answer my prayers as I wanted. The question was "could I trust God?", and at that point the answer was "not really." I didn't give up on faith in God completely but I drifted a lot, tried to handle everything by myself and completely stressed myself out in the process.
    As I look back now I see how wrong my attitude was- it was saying that I knew better than God, I cared for my friend more than he did, I would only truly follow him if it was on my terms.
    Over the last year I have learned a lot about trusting God and I am more willing now to trust him for situations like this. I know that even if my friend had died God would still be sovereign and he would still be good. My friend is still alive, but still struggling. I know there are no guarantees even now of how things are going to end, but I know God is able to save her, and, even if he doesn't, I hope I will still trust him.
    "Steel our nerves for long, hard days of quiet faithfulness."

    • MNmomma (heather)

      I agree…..these verses have been pulling at me as well…..

      may we grow closer to Him and grow in our faith….

      But if not, we will serve Him still!

  • With a picture of my beautiful girl on the tee shirt I wore, I was baptised on the 5th anniversary of her being called home to be with the Lord, .this for me was my way of saying to God…i WILL follow YOU, I will TRUST YOU, I BELIEVEin YOU, I have FAITH in YOU….there had been many a fight, arguments, and accusations at God, prior to this day…I had prayed, begged, pleaded, in her illness for a miracle, for her healing, for her to get better…..it wasn't to be in this earthly life….But God….oh, But God, ….He allowed me my rants, my raves ..then ..He met me, one day when I was tired and exhausted, and showed me where my girl was….in that moment I understood that my prayer, my pleading, had been answered, not in the earthly and 'my way' that I expected…but in His eternal way that was everlasting…. I hurt to think life goes on without her every day, but I also know, in peace, that we will be together in eternity when I am called home….Amen…

    Ten days ago with my hand barely touching my father's coffin, with tears rolling down my face, my body shaking in grief, I raised my other hand in praise and worship of the One who had brought me…us, thus far…..I was hurting, yet I knew that, hand on heart, God was in control,God was the Almighty, God, was good, and that however the picture looked in that moment, or even now, He would and will walk through this season with me…..

    And if He didn't,….

    And if He doesn't….

    He is STILL the Most High God….He alone is worthy of our worship…For always…Lord God,…for always…Amen…
    I am not an expert at this….but what I have learnt is that…one day at a time…holding fast and trusting Him with my day….is good…for now…each day I grow and learn….One day I may be bold enough to say these bold words in the same way as these young men…for now one day at a time….

    Rebecca, thank you for this….
    Hope you and your great family are well…..Love to you all…

    Sister's, Happy Tuesday…May God turn His face to shine on you…May He look on you with favour and give you peace….today and always…xxx

    • Brittney

      Oh Tin & May God turn His face to shine on YOU, may He look to YOU with favor & give YOU peace today & always. In Jesus name, Amen! Your story has brought me tears but also has shined a light in my soul bringing me even closer to God this morning. Thank you for sharing this AM ( afternoon I thank for you ;)

    • Candacejo

      Blessings dear friend…thankful for the Comforter today. He is our all in all. ♥

    • MNmomma (heather)

      blessings to you my dear…..

    • Brenda

      May you be blessed and comforted by our Lord and Savior this day. Sending love to you across the ocean my dear sister.

    • ~ B ~

      You have such a beautiful light T and I'm so thankful that God graced you with this faith, because it is such a blessing to be a part of. ~ B

    • kamellaw

      WOO! With tears streaming down my face…I thank you for sharing your story of ultimate surrender to Him in the most trying times in your life. Such an encouraging reminder to know that no matter WHAT this life brings us, not one thing compares to the greatness of knowing Him and that is the ultimate goal. May He continue to give you the strength and support you need to make it through today and the days to follow.

    • [email protected]

      What an incredibly testimony, Tina. You are showing us what hard fought true bravery is. Faith that is real and tested, battered and torn, but still determined. One step at a time, determined. Thank you for being authentic and I pray for peace that passes all understanding as you Him every step of the way.

    • Beverly

      Tina, your faithful heart and journey with God are such an encouragement full of hope and joy. He refines us and redeems us through the fires we face, the difficult circumstances and seasons. I love how you sought Him with your whole heart and found Him in such a raw moment. He is so good and meets us where we are at just the right time. Prayerful over you during this time. Hugs!

    • Grace

      Tina – I remember your words of comfort you offered me back in April when I was frightened of losing another pregnancy and desperately needed prayer. I clung on to every word and every prayer offered. Sadly I lost that sweet life. Our second loss. Through this entire heart wrenching journey I have prayed to just be used through all of this for God. If I can be there or bring comfort for someone else who has experienced a loss…then it gives those 2 precious lives I've lost a purpose and a meaning. I did not know you lost a daughter but you've been used by God through your pain and suffering and for GOOD. I just wanted you to know that and thank you.

  • Bind My Wandering Heart

    Such a challenge to be able to say ‘and if not, he is still good’…Lord give me that kind of faith!!

  • Sarah York

    my favorite reading day of this plan so far!! it moved my emotions significantly more than the others, and i believe also my spirit.

  • aprilmcwhite

    Wow. Once again, I needed these words this morning. As many times as I have have read this story, I am still amazed at the faith of these men. However, this time I was reminded that faith isn't something that we conjure up, it is from God by grace (Ephesians 2:8)–something that we pray for (Mark 9:24) and seek to cultivate (only by His grace!) through studying His Word, prayer, and obedience. What a relief that it is not dependent on my own efforts and what a challenge to seek the Lord with my whole self and ask for greater faith! I love how Rebecca reminds us that courage and great faith are also needed for "long, hard days of quiet faithfulness." As a stay-at-home Mom with 3 children 5 and under, this is often my greatest challenge but it is where I am called to be faithful!

    • scootermae

      My youngest goes to kindergarten Thursday. Yes, you are in the midst of great challenges but so thankful you see it as your calling and mission filed right now. How you are building into their lives so that they will hopefully be rooted and built up and established in faith. (Col 2:6-7). Be encouraged, those long hard days of the early years will fly by.

    • melindawatters

      Praying with you for the quiet faithfulness for those long hard days!

    • aprilmcwhite

      Thank you both so much!

  • I've been wrestling lately with the question, "what exactly are God's promises to me?" I know the Bible is full of promises, some can be applied to my life. Some applied to specific people, times, and places, and it would be unfair to make them about me.
    But ultimately, the real question IS, "Is God good? Is He still good if_______?
    I remember 7 years ago taking a terrifying ambulance ride with my infant son. He had just had a seizure and wasn't breathing. The only thought my mind could form the whole time was, "God will still be good, even if I lose my son"
    Today he's alive and healthy, and he constantly challenges me to recognize God's goodness (even if it's only in the details, even when the big picture looks bleak).

    • tina

      My bigger picture did looked bleak….for a while.., and as we say…'on paper.'…But God…I will say it again… But God…He is STILL good..Amen…
      Praising God for His goodness to you , Hannah, and the gift of your healthy son…Thanking him for my eyes being opened to how Good He truly is…x

    • Bcoffeelover

      I am so sorry I was meaning to hit the like and accidentally hit the dislike and it will not let me vote or undo it – sorry

    • MNmomma (heather)

      YES!!! God is still good…….

      I too had a season where this was a very real question I wrestled with…..a lot of very difficult things had happened – a great deal of loss……seemingly too much…..but thru all of the hurt and pain, I drew closer and knew – KNEW – in my heart of hearts…… "But if not, I will serve Him still"…..

    • melindawatters

      I too wrestle with these questions! Living through a time of loss upon loss also caused me to question. His goodness is not dependent on our circumstances and oiur individual circumstances are not proof or disproof His goodness. He is good. His goodness outweighs, outreaches and outlasts our circumstances. His goodness is for greater, dependable and well beyond our small worlds. We can trust Him with iit all, even the unanswered long time pleas and the absolutely impossible! God is good.

      • hannah

        One of the things that helps my heart feel safe with God is that He doesn't silence those questions. He wants me to ask, search, even wrestle. He's not sugarcoating everything or asking me to embrace a shallow or false hope. That assures me that we're in good hands.

    • danettelw

      Hannah, I am praising God that was with you and your precious son and that he is alive and well!! You are obviously a woman of strong faith! Thanks for sharing your story and blessing me! He is good always.
      I lost my daughter in 2007, at the age of 20. It was quite awhile, I am at times ashamed to say, before I could really feel that He was still the same good God that gave her and her brother to me.But He has restored my JOY as dry bones! "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord!" God bless you sister!

  • Alexis C.

    “Steel our nerves for long hard days of quiet faithfulness.” Just what I needed for days ahead.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      AMEN!!!!! Praying right along with you!!! It was as though that prayer was written for me…..

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