Ezra 8:22 "The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him."
Dan. 3:17 "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."
In both of these narratives there is a strong trust in God to save His people, so much so that they were willing to lay it "On the line" to follow Him. Ezra had told this to the king and then they fasted and prayed that God would do what He had promised and they had told the King. What would it have looked like if they had said they didn't need protection because God would take care of them and then they had asked, or had not asked and then been attacked? Wouldn't that put God in an unfavorable light to the watching world?
In the case of the young Israelites, they completely trusted that their God could bring them through the furnace, though they didn't know exactly how, and yet they also knew that if God did allow the furnace to consume them that God would care for them beyond the furnace.
I find myself in this kind of area more than I would have imagined a few years ago. If I am telling people that God can carry us through this time, and I completely believe He has the power and ability to do that, then what will happen if He doesn't? There will be those who will say, or think, that I trusted the wrong "thing", or that I should have gone out and asked for help from outsiders.
As I consider what He wants me to put "On the line" it is difficult to discern the extent of what that might look like; how much to put down. His ways are not our ways and His thought are not our thoughts and that is so apparent to me as I try to figure just a little of this out.
I am also unsure of where my part ends and His part starts. It is hard to know when "wrestling with God" over an issue is the right thing to do, or if just resting in His care is best. Much pleading and entreating, followed by working my side is all I can do, but how long to we ask before we are nagging? Paul asked 3 times, but I have asked more than 300; has He already answered and this IS His answer?
One thing I do know is that I am truly confident in His ability, but I am not sure of His will. If He wants to turn this around I completely believe He can do that today and it will not be hard for Him; does He want to do that?
So I continue to pray that He would show Himself strong and faithful, as I know He is, because I don't want the world to say, "You trusted in God, that He would deliver you, now let Him deliver you". This of course was directed at Jesus, Who is our perfect example of putting it "On the line", and the world has been debating this for the past 2k years.
I still believe Father but help my unbelief as I trust You to care for our needs. There is no doubt in my mind that You can do all things, but I am not sure if you will. You have built my faith to trust You and Your Word and I can only hold up my cup of salvation and ask you to fill it again. You filled it everyday for me and You must fill it again if it is to be filled. I rest in Your care. Don't let the world think that I have put my trust in the wrong place. Show Yourself as You truly are to me.