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Summary: We can learn how to cope with change in a positive manner by the example of a young teenage boy named Daniel.

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Introduction

SHARP – The word “change” is a powerful word. At the very thought of “change” varying emotions of fear, anxiety, excitement, anticipation, caution, can be felt depending on the circumstances and context in which the thought of “change” occurs.

Illustration

We all experience change. While you are sitting here you are changing. During this message about ½ million cells in your body are going to die and be replaced with a half a million new cells during my message. You are being made new just sitting here. How awesome is that! Our skin replaces itself every month. Your stomach lining undergoes a complete change in 5 days. Your liver every 6 weeks and your skeleton every 3 months. Change is natural. Our bodies are continually changing. It is the natural aging process where we gradually get older and hopefully wiser.

Illustration

Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion states “everything continues in a state of rest unless it is compelled to change by forces impressed upon it.” Everyone in this room either has experienced, is experiencing, or will experience change by forces impressed upon you. It could be PCS, ETS, change of career, change of position or responsibility, marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death of a loved one, deployment, redeployment, etc. One thing that is constant in our lives is change. As we experience these varying types of change sometimes we don’t handle it very well. Sometimes we become “testy”, or angry, sometimes simply unbearable. Sometimes, depending upon the situation, we may even lose hope. We can learn how to cope with change in a positive manner by the example of a young teenage boy named Daniel.

Background

In approximately 605BC the lives of the Israelites were turned upside down when Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem. Defeat itself is humiliating but what was even worse was the looting of the Temple. The holy vessels used in worship were taken and placed in the shrine of a pagan god. Also, some of the citizens of Jerusalem were taken into exile in Babylon. Four of those mentioned here are young teenage boys named Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. They are now living in a foreign land. They are living in a foreign culture that did not care about the things of God and offered them opportunities to do things and participate in things that they never imagined. They were far away from their families and anyone who would have provided supervision or guidance. Lets learn from Daniel how to cope with change.

I. Look Up

The first thing we need to do when coping with change is to LOOK UP. Take your eyes off of your circumstances and “fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of your faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” When we focus upon our circumstance we are taking a world view that is short sighted and distorted. All we can see are our immediate circumstances. But when we focus upon God and who He is and who He says we are then we gain a biblical view of the world and we remember that our citizenship is in heaven and whether I am in Germany, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Houston, Texas or wherever any of us claim to be from we realize that we are just passing through as we pursue God until that day when our pursuit is over and we have arrived home with Him.


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