What happens to a person’s faith when God fails to live up to their expectations? It’s a heavy question, and one author and speaker Beth Moore suggests everyone faces. At some point this dilemma arises, potentially tearing a believer’s faith apart. Why doesn’t God fix things?
This train of thought chugs downs a track full of questions. If faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains does a stationary mountain depict a lack of faith? Does God require faith that He can act or that He will act? Are they the same? Are they different?
This is where the locomotive goes off the rails. The freight cars hauling faith, trust, and hope pile here with the potential to rust away under this uncomfortable question.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are three regular guys from the days of old. They are not super heroes, just normal guys desiring to live a life of great faith that honored their great God. When they refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar golden statue they were condemned to execution by fiery furnace.
They found themselves in the same situation that plagues believer today: knowing God can redeem this situation, but He might not.
They respond to the charge against them without hesitation. “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 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, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image you have set up.”
Can God save them? No doubt. But would He? They had no idea. These guys speak straight to my heart. God can – you bet He can – but He might not. Maybe the better question is not can God act, but what will you do if He doesn’t act as you expect Him too?
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego declared before entering the furnace that even if God didn’t save their physical lives they would obey Him. God’s possible inaction in no way implied He was unable. They understood what many of us potentially miss, just because God doesn’t answer the way we expect doesn’t mean He is not acting.
“If you have a God great enough and powerful enough to be mad at because he doesn’t stop your suffering, you also have a God who’s great enough and powerful enough to have reasons that you can’t understand. You can’t have it both ways (Timothy Keller, King’s Cross).”