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Confidence & Contentment in God (Daniel 3:16-18)

July 24, 2014

Reflecting on the Passage:

This week at East Point Church, we were delighted to welcome Pastor John Onwuchekwa from Blueprint Church. This week’s sermon debunked the false notion that we can barter with God, where we attempt to hold Him hostage to our predetermined outcome. Pastor Onwuchekwa showed how true faith in God rests in His faithfulness rather than in times of prosperity or adversity. The focus of this sermon is on the two ingredients necessary for one to have unwavering faith in God — confidence in God’s ability to deliver and contentment in His inactivity — modeled by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Confidence in God’s Ability to Deliver

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king (Daniel 3:16-17; ESV).

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Pastor Onwuchekwa described transactional faith as an attempt to manipulate God into giving into a person’s wants in exchange for his or her good deeds or offerings. However, trials and tribulations forced Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to rest in true faith in the God of their salvation. Others around them had abandoned their superficial faith in their foreign gods when Nebuchadnezzar threaten their lives. On the other hand, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego realized that God was more worthy than the preservation of their own lives. Essentially, they knew that God was fully capable to vindicate Himself.

Contentment in His Inactivity

But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up (Daniel 3:18; ESV).”

God is able to do the impossible, but sometimes He does not. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego acknowledged God’s ability to deliver them out of the fiery furnace, while also being content even if He chose not to deliver them. Pastor Onwuchekwa paralleled this account with Jesus Christ’s trust in both God’s ability to do the impossible and contentment in the Father’s wisdom in accomplishing His will (Mark 14:35). In fact, Satan’s last temptation in the wilderness with Christ was to try to persuade Him to receive the kingdom without the cross, but Christ entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly.

Where in your life do you doubt God is able to do the impossible?

Whenever we submit to an idol, we are saying that our God is not worthy of our worship. God’s inactivity is not the same as His inability (Psalm 13). The quickest way to discontentment is to hold God hostage to an outcome that we have predetermined.

Regardless of His love for you, your faith or obedience, sometimes His answer to your prayer is going to be no (cf. Paul; 2 Corinthians 12). Remember, who does God love more than His Son Jesus; who has more faith than Christ; or what had Christ done to deserve death (Romans 8:31-39)? Death is not final, so the preservation of our lives is not ultimate; rather we look to Jesus Christ as our hope and do not forsake the assembly of fellow-believers in Him, so that we do not lose heart in a hostile and ungodly world (John 14; Hebrews 10:25, 12:2).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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