“When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, ‘O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, ‘The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.’ Then they answered and said before the king, ‘Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays not attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.’” Daniel 6:10-13
We love the story of Daniel. Even the king knew this was a trap and sought for ways to save Daniel. But the law could not be changed so he was thrown into that lion’s den. But we know that God shut the mouth of the lions and spared Daniel’s life. It is a wondrous blessing of God’s provision and safety. Yet, as we were singing the song on Sunday, Dare to be a Daniel,I was reminded that God does not always act in that way. There are times when God’s people do suffer for their faith. This account of Daniel should inspire us, but will we stand firm in our faith even if we have to suffer for what we believe? Will we still consider God to be faithful when Christians face loss and suffering? When we are forced to choose to obey God instead of men come what may?
“Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated – of whom the world was not worthy – wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” Hebrews 11:36-38
In Hebrews 11:33 we read that God stopped the mouth of lions by faith, yet these others suffered for their faith. No one wants to suffer. No one wants to endure loss and tragedy. Are we standing firm today, so that when trials do come, we will be better prepared to stand in faith? No matter what the cost?
Press on my friends this week as we strive to be faithful no matter what. In the good times and in the bad times. God is always faithful to His people and He will see us through. As we consider suffering, we are also reminded of what is yet to come and the eternity we have in Christ. In that we rejoice!