Summary: What to do when it seems like your prayers haven’t been answered.
“….BUT IF NOT”
I’m going to preach about something tonight that’s not very popular.
In fact, when you hear my opening remarks, you might think that I’m questioning God’s power, but please bear with me.
I’m concerned that we have heard so many messages about God’s:
• Miracle working power
• Healing power
• Providing power
• Delivering power
That sometimes we just take for granted that God will:
• Heal every sickness
• Meet every financial need
• Open every prison door
• Put back together every broken marriage
But, sometimes God does not heal!
Sometimes God does not come through with a miracle!
Sometimes God does not repair the broken home!
Sometimes God does not provide financial relief!
And my question tonight is one that’s not popular, and not often considered, but one that must be asked nonetheless:
• WHAT WILL YOU DO IF THE ANSWER IS NO?
• WHAT WILL YOU DO IF GOD DOES NOT DELIVER?
• WHAT WILL YOU DO IF GOD DOES NOT HEAL?
Sometimes we become so conditioned to the fact that God will say yes that we don’t know what to do when He says no!
But, tonight it may serve us well to take stock of our experience and say:
• I know God CAN heal,
• I know God CAN put my home back together,
• I know God CAN provide my financial need,
BUT IF NOT:
• I’ll still love Him!
• I’ll still trust Him!
• I’ll still serve Him!
I KNOW GOD CAN, BUT IF HE DOESN’T I’LL STILL SERVE HIM!
I.) OUR TEXT THIS EVENING IS A VERY FAMILIAR ONE.
You’ve heard this preached many times.
I’ve preached about:
• The fourth man and the fact that He’s still in the furnace just waiting for us when we go through the trial
• The courage of (3) men who gained the favor of God through separation
• The furnace designed to destroy actually delivered them
But, as I was re-reading this passage some time ago, something jumped out at me that I’d never noticed before.
It’s a simple statement, one consisting of only (3) words, yet it speaks volumes about the character of these young men.
• We know that God is able to deliver us out of the fiery furnace
• We know that God can send angels from heaven to bear us up and out of this crowd
• We know that God could kill each and every one of our persecutors if He so chose
• We know that the same God that opened up the depths of the Red Sea so our forefathers could walk through on dry ground can also keep us from a measly furnace!
• We know that our God is able to deliver us, Oh king,
BUT IF NOT, WE STILL TRUST HIM!
And, this statement was made BEFORE they knew what the outcome would be!
• For all they knew, they were speaking their final words!
• For all they knew, they were writing their own death sentences!
• For all they knew, they would wake up in glory!
But, it’s as if these men were saying:
Oh king, just in case we die in this furnace and don’t get a chance to tell you again, let us make ourselves crystal clear:
• We will never bow down to a graven image!
• We will never serve your gods
• We will never forsake our experience!
• We will never turn our backs on God!
We don’t know what’s going to happen in 5 minutes, but let us just say right now that we know God is able, BUT IF NOT we still worship HIM!
I wish somebody in this place would just stand up right now and say:
• I don’t know what tomorrow holds!
• I don’t know if God’s going to heal me or not!
• I don’t know if God’s going to deliver me or not!
• I don’t know if God’s going to meet my financial need or not!
But, devil, just in case I don’t get another chance to tell you this let me say it one more time:
I KNOW GOD’S ABLE, BUT IF HE DOESN’T I STILL WORSHIP HIM!
I KNOW GOD CAN, BUT IF NOT, I STILL SERVE HIM!
If I die in the furnace, that’s okay, because I’ll just wake up shouting on the hills of glory, so just in case let me tell you one more time:
I WILL TRUST HIM NO MATTER WHAT TOMORROW HOLDS!
II.) GOD, GIVE US THE DEDICATION OF JOB.
Job had to be the most confused man in the world.
• I mean, here’s a man who the Bible says loved God and eschewed, or hated evil.
• Here’s a man who was well respected in his community, and beyond, in fact the Bible says that he was the greatest man in the entire east.