Ella Quayle
Lessons from the life of Daniel

fireworks exploding

I can imagine many of us at the beginning of January have a whole range of mixed feelings for the year ahead. It is a stage of uncertainty and vulnerability in our lives where the year is set out before us with our new diaries and calendars. And even recently, we are aware that situations and circumstances can change instantly.
However, when we look to the Bible we see we are not the first generation to live in uncertain times.

This last Sunday service, Graham Pyman looked at the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den and talked on "Looking forward in uncertain times". From his notes, I will make a few simple points on how we can have hope and how God has a way through difficult times ahead.

Many of us know the story of Daniel and the Lion's den. Daniel was a righteous, godly man who was a hard worker for King Darius of Babylon. And because of his capability (which was greater than all the other administrators), the King made plans to place him over the entire empire. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find fault in Daniel but were unable to. They knew however, they could get Daniel in trouble if it had something to do with the law of his God. In an instant, circumstances changed for Daniel. A new decree came in place by King Darius (who was tricked by the administrators) that for the next month, if anyone prays to any other God or human being other than to King Darius, they will be thrown into a pit of Lions. "But when Daniel learned about the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open to Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God." Daniel 6:10
And we all know how it ends, with Daniel caught praying, being thrown into the pit of Lions, and God sending an angel to shut the mouths of the Lions and protect Daniel.

There is so much we can learn from this, from Daniel in his hard circumstance, what he did in that time, and God's faithfulness to him in his very scary situation.

In Graham's preach, he made a few points on Daniel's options for what he could have done in that situation. He could have laid low for 30 days and not prayed for a month. He could have still prayed but in secret. Or what he did instead which, was carried on as before, praying three times to God.
And the dreaded question after was, "What would you do in that situation?"
In times of uncertainty, of danger, of unprecedented times, what do we do? Do we go to the world for comfort? Do we still come to God but, it's dimmed down a bit. Or do we run to him and carry on resting, trusting, and thanking him for who he is?

I know how easy it is for me to go rushing to my comfort food, drink, or film during difficult times. And whilst there is nothing wrong with that, we shouldn't be getting our only comfort from them. Instead, as we can see from Daniel, we should press on and dig deeper into God's Word and presence. Delighting in who he is, reading the Word, worshiping, thanking him and spending time with Him, being with and encouraging other believers. He is a "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" - Isaiah 9:6 "Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort." - 2 Corinthians 1:3. The whole Bible is a witness to how faithful, loving, kind, and good God is. In times of uncertainty and hardship, he is faithful and reigns victorious over our lives.

Graham used the story of Jesus walking on water in Matthew 14:22-32. As Jesus called out to Peter to come onto the water, Peter walked as he kept his eyes on Jesus, but "When he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink" likewise, we can apply that to our lives. In whatever situation you find yourself in, as you fix your eyes on God and who he is, digging deep into him, then you will find such comfort and peace and know that no matter what, God will make a way through! But focusing on the situation and the Lion that's in front of you brings such overwhelming anxiety, stress, and fear. I know God does not want us to live in as he already has a way through. He is a good faithful God.

So when hardships and uncertainties come, what will you do? Do we run to our worldly comforts only? Do we sometimes come to God? Or like Daniel, do we carry on through the good and the bad, the certain and uncertain to our faithful, mighty King who reigns sovereign overall and has a way through all your uncertainties?

One thing we can learn from looking at the Bible is that nothing is too big for God. So I would encourage you as we look to this coming year, whatever situation and Lion you are facing, our faithful God has a way through, and we can go on with joy, peace, and hope for this year!

Watch Graham's preach - Looking Forward In Uncertain Times:

Listen to Graham's preach - Looking Forward In Uncertain Times: