“…the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
There used to be a popular poster back “in the day” on which there was this picture of a cat hanging from a rope by one of his front paws, and the caption read, “ Hang in there baby!” The New Testament talks a lot about perseverance, endurance, and patience, but if you’ll study those words; you’ll find that they are not implying that we simply just “hang in there.” No, as followers of Jesus, we can endure the trials that come our way with an attitude of what I call Confident Uncertainty.
Sometimes we go through periods in our lives when we find ourselves faced with situations in which we just simply don’t know where to go, what to do, or how things will turn out. We encounter times of spiritual dryness, of trial, of sickness, or even life and death situations. During these times, all of our “Where do you see yourself in five years?” planning is completely blown out of the water. In extreme times of trial and adversity, you may not even see how you’ll make it five more years; much less tell someone where you think you’ll be! However, it is in such times of uncertainty that we can be confident because we trust in the Lord.
As we walk with God, as we get to know him, the intimacy we share with him produces trust. We began to learn that he is truly faithful. We begin to understand that his promise to never leave us or forsake us is true, even when we feel all alone in an ocean of uncertainty. We learn that he is the potter and that we are the clay, and that we can trust the potter’s hands. It is intimacy with Jesus which produces the trust that allows us to be confident in uncertain times. Our confidence is not in ourselves, our spirituality, or our ability to “shift the atmosphere,” rather, we are confident in our Lord because we know that in all things he is working for his glory and our ultimate good. When uncertainty threatens, when doubts and fear attack, we run to Jesus. As we sit at his feet, consumed by the beauty of his holiness, our strength is renewed, and we find stability in the fact that no matter what; we belong to him.
In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced an extreme trial, and the outcome was uncertain. There they stood, right at the edge of the fiery furnace. I’m sure they could feel the heat. They didn’t know how the situation was going to turn out. Yet, they were able to face their circumstances with confident uncertainty because they trusted in the Lord. What a joy it will be to get to the place in life where we can say along with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, “I’m not real sure how all of this is going to turn out, but no matter what the outcome; I belong to the Lord.”