God is Always Good

God is always good – Amen?

Are y’all familiar with the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?

Their story is found in the book of Daniel.

All four of them, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were young Israelite guys that had been captured by King Nebuchadnezzar and toted off to Babylon.

Through a series of events, they were all promoted to positions on the Kings court. Or Daniel was, and then he promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to prominent positions in Babylon as well. But that didn’t keep them from being subject to the laws of the kingdom.

One of the laws was that they had to fall down and worship a golden image whenever music was played. And if you didn’t, well, they would throw you into a fiery furnace and watch you die.

Sounds like fun, right?

Anyway, so the Babylonian officials are already upset and a bit put out that these Jews were given positions of power, so when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn’t bow down and worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image they went straight to the king to tattle on them.

Death by Fire?

And King Nebuchadnezzar was furious. However, being the benevolent king that he was, he offered them one more chance. He said, if the music plays and you bow down and worship, great, but if you don’t, you’re going to be thrown into the burning fiery furnace.

Here’s the good part: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego tell King Nebuchadnezzar this:

 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, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Daniel 3:17-18

These three young men were faced with death and they had no guarantee that God would save them, but they chose to worship Him alone regardless of what happens next.

And I wonder how often life finds us there.

But If Not

Do you have a “But if not”?

Something you want to happen, but you don’t have a guarantee about?

I remember when my grandma died last year, I desperately wanted to see her before she died, but my faith wasn’t dependent on it. And that’s good because she passed before I made it to her.

Then my mom got really sick, she’s having dizzy spells and it’s just really bad and they don’t know what’s causing them yet and I want her to be okay, but if not, I will still worship God alone.

Do you have anything like that in your life?

I want to get the job I applied for, but if not, I’ll still worship God alone.

I want my daughter to love Jesus, but if not, I’ll still worship God alone.

I want to lose 100lbs, but if not, I’ll still worship God alone.

I want God to take away my struggle, but if not, I’ll still worship God alone.

Can you relate to that?

I think we all can in one form or another.

Related Post: Life is Hard, But God is Still Good

Only If

But it reminds me of another story found in the book of Mark. It’s the story of the rich young ruler. And it’s found in Mark chapter 10.

So, this kid comes up to Jesus and asks how he can inherit eternal life? He wants to know how to get to heaven. And Jesus tells him to keep the commandments, don’t murder, lie, etc. and the kid, bless his heart, is like, “I’ve kept all these since I was a boy. I’m so getting in!” But here’s my favorite line: And Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said…

“You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

Mark 10:21

And the boy goes away sad because he doesn’t want to trade it all for Jesus.

Instead of having a “but if not,” he had an “only if.”

I’ll worship Jesus only if I get to keep my belongings.

And I think a lot of times we have “Only ifs” instead of “But if nots”

  • I’ll worship Jesus only if He takes my pain away.
  • I’ll worship Jesus only if it doesn’t cause stress on my family.
  • I’ll worship Jesus only if I don’t have to give up my me time.
  • I’ll worship Jesus only if I don’t have to get up at 7am to go to church.
  • I’ll worship Jesus only if it’s easy.
  • I’ll worship Jesus only if it doesn’t cost me anything and I get my way.

A lot of the time though, our “Only if” isn’t as obvious. We don’t say I’ll only believe in Jesus if I get my way, but when we don’t get our way, we start to question if God is really good.

Do you have an "Only If" Share on X

If God is Good…

If God is good, why is did my grandma die before I could say good-bye?

If God is good, why am I struggling to get by?

If God is good, then you fill in the blank.

Instead of only if, we say if God, but the two phrases mean the same thing. It means we will only trust God if we get our way. But that isn’t the life we’re promised as Christ followers. Life is messy and it’s hard and it happens to Christians and non-Christians alike.

Instead of only if, we say if God, but the two phrases mean the same thing. Share on X

God is Always Good

I think sometimes we have the tendency to treat Jesus like a genie in a bottle. Pulling Him out when we need something, and then putting Him back on the shelf when we’re done. And if He doesn’t work, well, we might as well throw the whole thing away.

But here’s the thing: Either God is good or He isn’t. Either He’s worthy of our praise or He’s not.

So the truth is, God is always good, whether our lives are going good or not.

Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

That’s a truth we can rest in today.

10 Comments

  1. This is so full of truth, Heather. I regret that when I was younger, I doubted God’s goodness in some tough times. However, he has revealed his faithfulness over time. Thank you for the example you set in trusting God, no matter what. You are a gift to the world and to me!

  2. But if not, I will worship Christ! Thank you for this encouraging and refreshing read today Heather! So good, and makes us think and process where we are at in our relationship with Jesus … 🩷

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