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Faith Is In the Not Knowing

Consider it.

They were three friends.  They were exiles living in a foreign land.  Different people.  Different culture.  They lived under the rule and reign of a king who sought to conform them after himself.  He even changed their name, and he issued an edict:  all of his officials had to bow before a golden image he set up.  Whoever failed to bow before the golden image would be cast into a fiery furnace.

These three friends refused to bow.  They refused to change their values – even for a king.

But what do you do when the consequences of disobedience means that you’ll be burnt to a crisp? Toast.  Dead.

Let’s stop and pause.  What would you do? I’m not sure about you, but I’d be inclined that if I were going to disobey, that I’d like an escape hatch.  I’d like to know that God is going to rescue me.  I wouldn’t want to go into the furnace.  I wouldn’t want that much pain.

I’d want to know that an emergency edict would be issued, or a governmental pardon.  Or worst case, I’d want to know that if in fact I’d get thrown into the furnace that I’d at least get some kind of flame proof furnace suit.

These three friends didn’t know the outcome.  They didn’t know if a pardon or edict would be issued.  They didn’t know if rescue was imminent. Similarly, they could not see on the other side of the furnace—they didn’t know if they would only come out as a pile of ashes.  And that’s where faith comes in.  Faith comes in the not knowing.

Faith is a choice of believing even when we don’t know.  If these three friends knew the outcome—that God would in fact meet them in the furnace and rescue them—well, then there would be no need for faith.

There’s little doubt that none of us want the furnace.  We want to know the outcome.  We demand an outcome.  Our prayers are for healing, provision, and protection.  But somehow in the silence, or the quiet voice, God shows up in the not knowing.

About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. » Learn More. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously.

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