Is your belief in God rooted in how good God is to you, or in the goodness of God?
One of the most inspiring biblical stories is of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Because of their unswerving loyalty to God they refuse to worship the false gods of King Nebuchadnezzar.
So they’re threatened. Either bow down to them or be thrown into a fiery furnace. Here’s how they reply:
“King Nebuchadnezzar… If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us… But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Did you see it?
They said that God was able to rescue them. BUT EVEN IF HE DID NOT, they would STILL not bow down and serve his “gods.” Their loyalty was not contingent on God acting in a way that made them happy.
Regardless of what happened, God was still God. God was still good. And he deserved their praise.
It makes me think of a story I heard about the horrendous Columbine High School shooting. One of the attackers shot a victim named Valerie 34 times. Still alive, he asked her, “Do you believe in God?” Here’s how she replied:
We often think that the only evidence for the goodness of God is the immediate goodness in our lives—in other words, things turning out like we want. And although incredibly gut-wrenching experiences may cause us to question, challenge God, or be angry, God is still God; God is still good; and God is still worthy of praise.
So again I ask: Is your belief in God rooted in how good God is to you, or in the goodness of God?
I’m not saying I have all the answers. But I do have one. God is God. God is good. God is worthy of praise. And no hardship in this life will change that. No. Matter. What.
Think of your life. It was true for Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and Valerie. And it’s true for you too.
By Matthew Ruttan
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