The needs and desires of our life are not vague or merely abstract. We often have very concrete ways we would like God to show up on our behalf. But our trust in God must go deeper than these particulars – willing to still trust him even if he doesn’t rescue us according to our preferences.
For instance, this was the case with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were confident God was able to save them when they were sentenced to be thrown into the fire. But their hope was not merely in being saved from the furnace; their hope was ultimately in God himself. And this is what gave them the confidence to still trust in God even if he didn’t save them from the fire. Their vision could see beyond their current circumstances.
And we see this as well when the writer of Hebrews tells of the great examples of faith – mentioning that some were tortured, stoned, and sawed in half for refusing to turn from God. And they were able to stand firm because their hope was anchored in the better life still to come. In other words, they continued to trust in God and his promises even when they weren’t saved from their immediate pain and suffering.
To be sure, this is a hard pill to swallow, but it is the life of faith we’re called to. Of course, we pray for God to show up and rescue us from the very real heartaches and sorrows we have to endure in this life. All the same, we remember God’s goodness does not depend on the particular outcomes we desire. We must keep ourselves grounded in him and the larger story he is telling. And sometimes this means continuing to trust in his love, holding on to a deeper hope, and living confidently in faith even when our present circumstances don’t have a happy ending per se.
In the end, let your trust remain in God’s goodness and not the particular outcomes of your story. He’s still good even if he doesn’t save you according to your preferences.