One: We love God for who he is, not just for what he does for us. When Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into a fiery furnace if they would not worship his golden idol, they told him: “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 3:17). Note what comes next: “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” (v. 18). They would serve God, whether he did what they hoped he would do or not. Faith in adversity shows that we have not a transactional religion but a transformational relationship with our Father. We love God because he is worthy of our love, even if his will is not ours.
Two: Faith sustains us in the hard times, not just the good times: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:17-18). The prophet described devastation in every dimension of his agrarian world. In a crisis with no food in the present and no provision for the future, he would still rejoice in his Lord. Such worship shows a skeptical culture that our faith is relevant to every challenge we face.
“The only love that won’t disappoint you” Name your greatest problem today. It could be physical pain, financial difficulty, or personal disappointment. Now reframe it as your greatest opportunity to influence your post-Christian culture today. If you ask Jesus to redeem your suffering for his glory and your good, he will. This is because he loves you with a love that redeems all it touches
Dr. Jim Denison