Even If...

In Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar required the nation to bow before his golden monument. All surrendered. All except three. When threatened with death by fire, they did not relent. Their words to the king were simple.

King Nebuchadnezzar, 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.”

Even if…

“Even if” signals a new way of living. Like a person shedding the crutches for the first time and gets to walk and run freely. “Even if” is a new way of trust, a way of life that no longer needs everything to go “our way” in order to believe God is still good.

“Even if…” These two words drive a dagger through the heart of the enemy.

Because like those who have gone before us we agree: 

Even if I must die…
Even if the cancer doesn’t go away…
Even if the prodigal never returns…

Even if she never says she’s sorry…
Even if he never admits I was right…
Even if I don’t get the credit…
Even if the judge doesn’t rule in my favor…
Even if my dream never comes true…
Even if my prayer is never answered…
Even if the pain never goes away…

I   W I L L   N O T   F O R S A K E   H I M .

With this statement, the enemy’s hopes are shattered over the rock of faith.

C.S. Lewis wrote The Screwtape Letters, a fictionalized portrayal of two demons discussing how they can harm Christians.

In it, the mentor demon advises his pupil: “Do not be deceived. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's (God’s) will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.” 

Even if I don’t feel you, even if you seem distant, even if I feel forsaken, I will still obey.  

This is not for the faint of heart or the casual Christian who still comes to God expecting wrath when they fail and blessings when they’ve performed well. They miss what’s plainly evident in the Gospels. The only good One is the same One who experienced the most gruesome horror in life.

Jesus, our flagship, suffered the most.

The way of Jesus is the way of the “Even if” life. 

“Even if You will not take this cup from me. Even if I must experience the cross. Even if my friends abandon me. Even if I must die to save those who kill me. Even if I must experience the rejection of God. Yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

Can you say “Even if”?

If not, ask for His help. Ask for the grace to begin saying it. Tell Him that you want to be able to trust, even if…

Jesus is calling us deeper. Follow Him there.