Summary: Just as Daniel remained faithful and was saved so when you remain faithful, God will take care of you. If the Lord can save Daniel from a pit of Lions, then he is infinitely more than able to see you through whatever you may be facing today
Sacred Living in a Secular Society - Part 6
“Accepting Suffering and Trials”
1. THE DECREE OF DARIUS
Sometimes it’s costs to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
We don’t hear that very often do we? It’s like we want to hide that fact and only tell people all the good stuff about being a Christian.
Like the Army. When they advertise for new recruits they don’t say, “Sign up today and you’ll be sent to a stinking hot desert and you won’t see your family for months. Oh, and by the way, there’s a very good possibility you may be shot at or bombed and possibly killed.” No – they highlight the excellent training and the adventure of it all – the glamour.
And we sometimes want to promote the Christian life like that don’t we. Only tell the good stuff. But, you see, when God called you into his family, he never promised that all your problems would be over.
Take Daniel for example. There’s no doubt he was an outstanding man of God, but look at the trouble he faced when king Darius passed a royal decree.
DA 6:1 It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, DA 6:2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. DA 6:3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. DA 6:4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. DA 6:5 Finally these men said, "We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God."
DA 6:6 So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: "O King Darius, live forever! DA 6:7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. DA 6:8 Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered--in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed." DA 6:9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.
There’s no doubt about it, our faith will sometimes get us into deep trouble. And the Lord warns us about this ....
PHP 1:29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him
The question is, why does God allow his people to suffer?
Primarily, God will allow suffering in your life because he knows that suffering will grow you. If you accept Jesus Christ as Lord, you must also accept that he will do whatever it takes to mold you into the person he created you to be.
Another reason God allows suffering is because he wants to show other people how his power works in your life. This is most likely the case for Daniel.
The apostle Paul wrote about this. He said ....
I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)
Notice he didn’t write, “I can do everything in my own strength.” Trials and suffering push us to the end of ourselves – and then we have to rely in Jesus – and that’s when he shines through us the brightest – when we stop walking in our own strength and start letting Christ carry us.
You see ultimately – at the end of it all - if we remain faithful – when our faith is tested - God will take care of us.
2. THE DEVOTION OF DANIEL
But what does it look like to “remain faithful under pressure?”
Let’s look again at Daniel.
DA 6:10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. DA 6:11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. DA 6:12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: "Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or man except to you, O king, would be thrown into the lions’ den?"