An "Even If" Faith

An Even If Faith

Have you ever felt discouraged by the situations in your life? Faced a time where your faith in God was put to the test, and you had to decide whether to continue trusting in Him or to walk away?

Have you ever found yourself in a position where the decision you made to follow God resulted in great sacrifice, whether personal or financial? Maybe even putting you face to face with death?

Are you even now in the middle of difficulty, wondering if there will ever be a way out? Wondering if it is worth it to trust God anymore? Wondering if you can go on another minute?

Whatever the situation is in your life, whether past or present, you have come to the right place.

I hope that the words that follow will be an encouragement to you, that you will be reminded of the power of God in the face of adversity and be exhorted to live a life of courageous faith.

A Statue, a King, Three Men, and a Furnace

Those of us who have grown up in the context of a church are likely very familiar with this commonly taught story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But for those who may not be familiar, let me explain this amazing story of faith:

The setting is in the days of the Babylonian empire, which at the time, was under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar. The story is located in Daniel 3:1-30 of the Bible, for your reference.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were part of a group of young men, which included Daniel as well, who had been selected out of the Israelite captives to serve in the king's court.

King Nebuchadnezzar decided to have an image of himself made of gold and erected it for the purpose of having all his people worship it (and therefore, worship him). The worship of this image, or statue, was not optional. It was mandatory. And anyone who refused to bow down in worship of it was to be put to death by burning in a furnace.

Now, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were some of the few people who dared to defy this order. And as a result, their refusal was reported to the king. 

The King then summoned them to his court and asked them whether or not this report was true. Their reply was that, yes, it was true that they had not bowed down in worship and not only that, but they never would worship the statue.

This, of course, angered King Nebuchadnezzar, who told them they would be thrown into the fire. He asked, "What god, then, will be able to rescue you from my hand?"

The three men responded by saying that their God was indeed capable of rescuing them and would do so. Next, they stated that "even if He does not rescue us, we will not worship this statue or any other gods of yours."

"Even If"

Can you imagine standing before the most powerful person in your country, being forced to face almost certain death for your faith? Can you imagine being able to say so confidently in that moment that no matter what lies before you, you will still trust God?

Having come into contact with several leaders in South Asia over the past few years as well as reading articles about believers in the region, I know that this scenario, or others like it, is not uncommon. For many believers in Asia and the Middle East, the possibility of facing severe persecution or even death is a reality.

Sometimes as a Western Christian, living in a country where I have many freedoms, it has been easy for me to set aside the stories I have heard and read, and think "that will never happen to me."

But, that was before my first trip to South Asia, where God started speaking to my heart about living in the Asian region and serving Him in a completely different way than I had ever imagined. By then, I had learned more about the sacrifices that would need to be made on my part to do so - the reality of possibly facing death in the future.

Even then, though, upon returning to my country, and having every door slam shut on opportunities to go back to South Asia, I found myself going back to the idea that I would likely remain in my relatively "safe" country. And the idea of facing death or any kind of serious persecution myself dwindled.

Until I was given an opportunity to return to South Asia. In the process of preparing to go back for a several-month-long stay, God made it evident that He was paving the way for me to go back long-term, and on a more permanent basis.

The last year and a half have been a time of revelation and reflection for me. No more can I think "that will never happen to me" in reference to persecution, or even death for my faith. The reality is that I very well could face those things. The country which I am now preparing to spend the majority of the rest of my life in is fast becoming a nation which hates the God I love and serve so much that ridding itself of anyone who believes in Jesus Christ is, to them, necessary in preserving their culture and religions.

So the question that I, and many who live in Asia, have to ask ourselves is "will I trust God to the extent that even if nothing changeseven if I have to face horrible rejection and persecution, even if I have to face certain death, I will not turn away from Him?"

Is Your God Big Enough?

Let's go back to the scene of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego before the king.

They had just finished telling the king that no matter what happened to them, they would not worship his image. And his response was one of utter rage. He ordered the furnace intended for burning them alive to be heated seven times hotter than it was.

Then, King Nebuchadnezzar told the guards to throw them in the fire. The fire was so hot that it killed the guards who threw the men into it!

But, the king, who was watching the whole thing, realized something very shocking.

The three men were walking around in the flames and had been joined by a fourth man - one that he described as appearing "like a son of one of the gods."

He called the men to come out of the furnace, and everyone crowded in on them to see. Not even one hair on their heads had been harmed!

Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had firmly believed, God saved them.

He saved them.

Friends, how big is your God?

Is He a furnace-snatching, capable of changing any situation, kind of God? A supreme, Creator of the universe and Savior of the world kind of God?

Or is He simply small and weak, incapable of saving you or changing anything in your life?

The God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the God of the Bible, is not a small god.

Throughout the Bible, He is revealed as a mighty warrior who saves His people, regardless of whether or not they deserve it. He is revealed as a God who can sway the minds of kings, who can bring them to their very knees in awe of who He is.

He is the God who brought a selfish, conceited, powerful builder and king of a mighty empire to his knees. The rest of Daniel Chapter 3 tells us that King Nebuchadnezzar cried out in amazement and acknowledgment of the One True God.

This is the God we serve too.

And just like these three men could be confident in the face of death because of their knowledge of who their God was so we can do the same.

The God who stepped into the flames of that furnace is the same God, the same Jesus we serve today. And He is absolutely powerful, absolutely capable of doing whatever is necessary to change the situations in our lives, no matter how big they might be.

So take heart! The same God who rescued the three men from the furnace is the same one who has overcome the world through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Friends, I hope you are encouraged by this truth, that you will allow the account of these three men of faith to inspire you and challenge to have a faith that says "even if nothing changes, even if I have to go through the fire, even if I die, I will still trust God and place all my hope in Him."


1. What stands out to you from the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?

2. What kind of God is your God - big or small? Weak or strong?

3. How can you apply what you have learned in this post to your current situation?

You are invited to share your thoughts in the comments below. We would love to hear from you and learn with you!


  1. I love this-"The God who stepped into the flames of that furnace is the same God, the same Jesus we serve today." I am so thankful I serve the same God these men had with them that day.