Summary: Today from this passage of scripture I want us to see how Daniel handled adversity, so that when adversity comes into our lives, we will be able to handle it as well.
Am October 11th 2009
Daniel 2: 12-28
We began a six part series titled “Faith under Fire” last week we will be studying this topic from the book of Daniel, last week in part one we learned what four tests of our faith are: Isolation, Indoctrination, compromise, confusion. Today one of the biggest hindrances to our faith is adversity, and we may ask why? I believe because so many live delusional Christian lives, where they don’t believe that any adversity should enter there life as a Christian, and when it does it throws the faith for a loop.
The word adversity means “a condition of suffering, destitution or affliction” and it comes from the word adverse which means “acting against or contrary direction, opposed to ones interests”
That’s a pretty accurate definition of hard times and difficulties. They seem to be acting against you. They take you in a direction you would rather not go, and they most definitely seem to be opposed to your interests.
Maybe right now you are in the midst of some pretty tough times. I mean the waves are crashing, the sun isn’t shining, the dark clouds are descending and your future looks so uncertain. You’re in pain, you’re hurting and you’re tired and worn out. Nothing seems to be working right. Everything seems to going in a contrary direction.
Today that is were we find Daniel, and his friends, the King has a dream and none of his royal magicians can interpret the dream for him, so he puts the word out that all the wise men in Babylon, including Daniel, shadrach, meshack, and abendego, will be killed, talk about an adverse situation, things not going there way. Today from this passage of scripture I want us to see how Daniel handled adversity, so that when adversity comes into our lives, we will be able to handle it as well.
Read Scripture: Daniel 2:12-28
I. When Adversity comes, Don’t Panic
Vs. 16 “At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.”
So often one our first responses to adversity is to hit the panic button, we get on the phone and get frantic and just panic.
It reminds me of a story I read, a lady comes home from grocery shopping and finds her five children sitting in a circle on the living room floor, she thinks to herself, “wow they are really well behaved”, so she proceeds to set her groceries down in the kitchen, then goes back to the living room to see what was going on, when she arrives she notices that each child was playing with a skunk, so she yells, run children, run, so each one picks up there skunk, and runs in five different directions in the house, making sure to squeeze the skunk tightly to keep from dropping it.
Panic is never a good response to adversity because like the lady it spreads the panic to others.
Look at Daniel, had he panicked when he heard the news of the coming death, that panic would have spread to his friends, and more than likely we would not be reading this book today because he would have died with all the wise men in Babylon. Daniel goes to the King and ask for more time, he didn’t hit the panic button.
II. When Adversity comes, Pray
Vs. 17-18 “Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.”
Not only should we not hit the panic button, but we should hit our knees, especially when adversity comes.
Prayer is the most powerful tool we have as Christians, but too few believers actually use it in a meaningful way.
During times of adversity is a great time to pray, however it is not the only time you should pray. Pray before adversity, pray during adversity, pray after adversity.
Listen, there will be times when the only thing you can do is pray, so you need to begin to cultivate a good prayer life before the adversity comes.
III. When Adversity comes, Wait on God
Vs. 19 “During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven”
If you have ever waited for something, you know it is one of the hardest things you can possibly endure.
We wait for healing, we wait for the right person relationally, we wait for the right job, we wait for an answer to prayer.
Waiting is tough, you throw in some adversity, and it becomes really hard to wait on God, because our instinct is to get out of the adversity the best way we can.