But If Not, He Is Still Good
God is good. I do not doubt God’s goodness for a second, but what happens when your faith in His goodness is tested?
There are numerous examples in the Bible with this certain scenario, but one in particular shows the power of the words: but if not, the Lord is still good.
Three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were put in a dire situation in Daniel 3:1-30 when King Nebuchadnezzar issued a decree in which everyone must fall down and worship the gold statue he had set up. That did not sit well with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and when the king heard they would not serve his gods, he was outraged.
King Nebuchadnezzar had the three men stand before him while he announced they would be thrown into the fiery furnace if they did not kneel to worship his gold statue. “What god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” King Nebuchadnezzar questioned them. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied,
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 deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 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.
Now this exact scene may not be something we can quite picture as Americans, but we can understand what is happening just the same. These three men put their lives on the line to defend their Lord no matter what the outcome. Whether God spared them from the flames or not, they believed in His goodness. The thing is, God never promises bad things won’t happen, but He promises He will be in the flames with us when they do.
Another Biblical figure, Job, in all his suffering even said, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21). And at one point asks, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10)
Most of the time, these words are easier said than done. We place our faith in God, but when push comes to shove and we are tested, can we truly be like Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Job and fully trust God no matter the outcome?
Did you not land your dream job? Did you not make the grade? Did the guy you’ve had a crush on ask another girl out? God is still good.
Did you have a miscarriage? Did you go through a divorce? Were you abused? Did someone close to you pass away? It may be hard to see right now, but God is still good.
I cannot answer the question of why bad things happen. I can however tell you God’s ways and thoughts are much higher than yours and mine (Isaiah 55:8-9). 1 Corinthians 13:12 says,
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
It’s especially important to hold on to these Scriptures this holiday weekend as we remember the sacrifices of the brave men and women serving our country. Even though we can’t understand why so many families must endure the pain of losing a loved one, we can find comfort in the goodness of our God.
If you are praying for a move in some way, and God does not take this cup from you, He will still use the situation for His glory. When Jesus was informed Lazarus was deathly ill, He stayed in the same place two more days, saying, “This sickness will not end in death; but for the glory and honor of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” And indeed, Lazarus’ death and resurrection was used for God’s glory (John 11:4-6).
If you are in the trenches as we speak:
Surrender all your worries and hurts to the Lord. He wants to take them and carry them for you.
Lean on God and let Him hold your hand; He is waiting to do just that.
Remember all the wonderful blessings He has given to you up to this point in your life.
Continue to pray without ceasing. God hears you. God sees you.
Pray for God’s will and not your own.
If God rescues you from the flames, He is good; but if not, just remember, He is still good.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Whitney can be described by the opening lyrics of a few Tom Petty songs. She's a good girl who grew up in a small Indiana town who loves her mama, Jesus, and America too. She practices medicine as a physician assistant at an urgent care. Whitney is a music enthusiast and leads worship at her church. She has a heart for people, and wants to help young girls and women find their worth in Christ rather than what the world says of them. Whitney loves a good dad joke, the outdoors, spending time with family and friends, Southern manners, working on her fitness, attempting Pinterest crafts, and cheering on Indiana University basketball.