Unpredictable Outcomes

Trusting God, even when the outcome is unpredictable, is always the right move.

Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego were three friends of Daniel, a Jewish exile in Babylon. The four banished friends were devoted to the Lord, and trusted that God would take care of them.

They had needed to exercise that trust when Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, had drafted them into his royal service. They had been Jewish royalty and nobility. Now they would be servants of their occupier — the very one who had stolen their home from them. They trusted God to guard their footsteps. And that’s what God did.

Later, Nebuchadnezzar made an unreasonable demand of all his advisors, insisting that they should be able to not only interpret a dream he had dreamed, but even tell him what the dream had been in the first place. Daniel trusted God to reveal the dream and its interpretation. And that’s exactly what God did.

Then came an even greater test. Nebuchadnezzar made a huge monstrosity of an idol. Then he told all his officials to bow down and worship it. He ordered that anyone who would not bow down be executed by being thrown into a blazing furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down, wanting to worship only the true God. They trusted God to protect them.

They did not know how God would protect them. They did not know what the outcome in this life would be. But they still trusted that God would deliver them — whether in this life or in the next.

This is true faith — to be confident that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. When we are not sure what the outcome in this life will be, we can still be assured that the outcome in the next life will always be far better than anything we can imagine or dream of.

Perhaps you are currently facing your own furnace right now. You don’t know what the outcome will be. But you can still remain confident that God is able to deliver you from that furnace.

And if he does not? He remains God — a God who wants the best possible eternal outcome for you. He is still your Savior and your Lord. And, through faith in Christ, you remain headed for everlasting life in heaven.

What does a Christ-follower do when the outcome is unpredictable?

They trust God. They put their faith in his grace and his power in all things. And they remain confident that God will deliver them — in this life, or the next.

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “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” (Daniel 3:16-18, NIV).

Our Bible reading for Saturday, November 28, is Daniel 3:13 – 4:18, 2 Peter 2:1-22 and Proverbs 29:1-9.

Lord Jesus, forgive me for the times when I have allowed fear to take over my heart rather than faith. Grant me the trust in you that will give me great courage for the “furnaces” in my life. I want to worship and honor you — and only you — with all of my heart.

Header image based on "furnace flame" by Graeme Maclean, CC By 2.0

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I'm married to my beautiful wife Julie and have five kids whose names all begin with the letter A. I'm a pastor at CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, AZ. I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, and my grandkids. Huge Arizona Cardinals fan! Reading, hiking, camping, travel, and fishing are my top 5 downtime pleasures.

One thought on “Unpredictable Outcomes”

  1. Our bible reading for Saturday, November 28, is Daniel 3:13 – 4:18, 2 Peter 2:1-22 and Proverbs 29:1-9.

    Today I’m thankful for… Being challenged, remembering who I love, working with my children.

    “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.””
    ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭2:17-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Heavenly Father, lead me in your ways, because they are true and righteous. There are so many that lead with corrupt hearts in this world. People who don’t you, people that have turned their back to you, people that honor other gods. Lord have mercy on them. They are truly wicked, but we all sin the eyes of God. Jesus is our shepherd, our master who makes us right with the true God. Lord I pray that you give all man the opportunity to find Jesus in their lives. I pray that you continue to walk me and those I love to help protect us all from those that take us from you.

    “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.”
    ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭2:20-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    ~Paul Montenieri


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