Summary: Trials and Troubles come our way in life. Daniel taught us how to meet them.
HOW TO MEET TROUBLE
In the course of our life we sometimes come up against major trouble. It can be with our health, our job or our family. It is usually the kind of thing that threatens to tear our family and us apart. How we meet this trouble quite often determines whether our not we can survive this trouble with our family and our sanity intact. We have witnessed others in trouble. Sometimes, their behavior is such that we would never know they’re in trouble. Others meet trouble with much wailing and complaining and fall apart in front of our eyes. Of course, this is not always the case. Sometimes the ones who never complain just fall apart silently. The noisy ones sometimes, somehow, with great fanfare, manage to come out trouble just fine. A lot of survivability has to do with personality traits, but with Christians, it has a lot to do with faith traits. This is where we find out how good our religion is. No matter what our trouble, how we approach it is most of the battle. We see in Daniel how he approached trouble, and it is a good lesson that we can learn.
There is no greater threat in our life than the immediate threat of someone wanting to take that life. How would you feel if there is a knock at your door one day and there is a government official standing at your door with a warrant for your immediate execution in his hand? We can’t, of course, imagine that happening in our society today, but this is what Daniel faced. In this instance, it was a legal order, and there was no court, no judge, and no arbitration to which there was an appeal. There was only one hope, and that was what God could do. So how did Daniel face it? Let’s check.
I. HE MET ARIOCH WITH WISDOM AND TACT. (Dan. 2:14)
Are you one of those who react to trouble by flying off the handle, get upset, cry, shout, yell and otherwise create noise? Imagine if you were in Daniel’s shoes. Would you shout, “You just try to come and get me!” Or just try to whine your way out?
Or would you just say, “Well, I guess there’s nothing we can do, we just might as well give up.” Daniel did neither. He swallowed any reaction he might have had, (he was human) and dealt with the matter intelligently, with his mind open and with faith in gear. He prayed for instant wisdom and used all the manners his mother and King Nebuchadnezzar had taught him. As soon as he had gotten the big picture, he knew what he had to do. Generally, the problem with most of our problems is we jump right up and try to solve them without getting all the right information. We have to get the big picture, know all the facts knowable, before we can take the next step. And the only way we can get those facts is keep our manners intact. Prov. 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” When you can take anger and confrontation out of the picture, then intelligence takes over. Because Daniel took the intelligent and calm approach, he was able to get the information out of the soldiers that he needed. He turned away anger and made an ally out of them. That enabled him to appeal to Arioch, who then appealed to the king who then gave him a stay of execution. This enabled Daniel to go the next step.
II. HE GATHERED HIS FRIENDS TO PRAY. (v. 17-18)
Not to plan, not to commiserate, not to wring their hands, or complain, but to pray. I am afraid when trouble comes our way; prayer is the last thing we remember to do. So many times it’s not until we run out of ideas, we are exhausted from complaining and wringing our hands that we are driven to our knees. We try to handle our troubles by ourselves, and quite often it gets us nowhere. We whine and complain, or we just sit and quietly worry until we are worked up into an emotional state that resembles a wildcat in a cage. People have worried themselves into heart attacks. If you don’t believe that stress can affect you physically, talk to any doctor or psychiatrist you know. They will give you chapter and verse, with illustrations. All of these emotional gyrations won’t go anywhere to solving the problem and it will just exhaust those around you. Go to prayer. Pray and pray and pray. God will answer prayer. It might not be on your time schedule; it won’t be according to your calendar schedule, but according to God’s. Remember that Lazarus had been buried for four days and the best deodorant in the land wouldn’t solve his problem. Everybody thought that Jesus was too late, but, as the song says, “He’s always on time!” Whatever your problem, there will come a time when God will give you peace. And it generally comes when we finally say, “God, I can’t handle this, I’m not even going to try, I’m leaving it your hands.” Now that doesn’t mean we say that, and then keep picking the thing up and playing with it. When we leave something on the altar, we leave it for good and don’t look back. You say, “What if it is a family problem, illness, or an emergency that is staring you in the face and won’t go away?” Hey, do you think a guy with a sword standing at your door wanting to take your head off is a walk in the park? The only solution is prayer! No ifs, ands, or buts! He will answer! And when He does, you still have one thing left to do.