But even if He doesn’t…
Faith, trust, belief, reliance, hope. I have faith that God will. I trust that God will. I believe God is going to. As Christians today we are smitten with the thought that God will grant our prayers, fix our problems, heal our sickness, deliver us from struggle, and rescue us from tribulation. We claim it. We focus on it. We sing about it. We preach about it. We rely on it.
Perhaps He will and Perhaps He won’t.
I live in San Diego and if you live here, you can't help but be impacted by the muder of Chelsea King. When she went missing, thousands began to pray for her return. Thousands turned out to search for her. Thousands now morn her savage murder. Over the past week, probably because I am a lawyer that represents death row inmates, people have wanted to talk to me about the case. Frequently the issue of God's role in all of this comes up and people will talk about it shaking their faith.
All those interactions have led me to think again about something I wrote years ago. Is our faith based on what God does or who He is? Does the fact that He didn't save Chelsea King change how I think about faith?
I think faith isn’t really about trusting that God will do something. Faith is trusting God even when He doesn’t. Remember in Daniel 3:17-18 when Nebuchadnezzar threatened to toss Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fire and they responded without blinking an eye, “Ok, toss away, our God will save us” and then much to the surprise of Nebi, God did? We love that story. God supernaturally stepped in and saved his boys. Victory to the good team. Good story. Good result.
But the very best part of that story, the real heart of the boys, the thing that probably made their Father smile upon them the most, were the words that immediately followed the brazen declaration of reliance on God’s providential wisdom and power, “But Even If He Doesn’t.”
God will save us. Toss us in. See what happens. But king, we won’t worship you and your gods. We won’t compromise. We won’t give in. We won’t give up. We won’t do any of those things…even if our God chooses not to save us.
How could they say that? Because they knew, as we should, that you don’t trust God for what he can do. You trust God for who He is.
At the end of the day faith really isn’t faith unless it is faith even if He doesn’t.