Is there some area of life where you are struggling to trust God? Do you find yourself impatient because God has failed to answer your prayer or change your circumstances? What should your heart attitude be in this season?
Daniel 1 & 2
1 Peter 5.1-14
We’ve finished another O.T. book (Ezekiel) and will finish 1 Peter today. We’re closing in on the end of the year! What has God shown you as you’re read through the Word? I’d love to get your input.
Daniel 1 & 2:
God uses all things for good
Daniel was a contemporary of Ezekiel, so this book backs up to the beginning of the Babylonian conquest when Daniel was kidnapped and taken to Babylon along with other intelligent, handsome young men. They were to be brain-washed through education and exposure to rich-living so they would be useful to the leadership in Babylon, possibly to help with the other Jews who would later be brought to Babylon in larger numbers.
Because of his character, he would instead be used by God in a great way to influence two pagan kingdoms. What a great example of God using “all things,” even an unsaved king and unfair, undeserved circumstances, for good (Rom. 8.28).
In chapter 2 God revealed to him Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and gave him the interpretation. Just as He did with Joseph, God was setting the stage to use Daniel’s personal circumstances to alter the course of history. And in it all, Daniel gave glory to God (vv. 28-30).
But what about your life and your difficulties? Has someone sinned against you in grievous ways? If you are a believer, God’s promises are true for you, too! He has not allowed anything in your life that He cannot use for your good and His glory. Others may have meant it for evil, but God means it for good (Gen. 50.20).
God & God alone
Daniel understood what the psalmist said in these verses, that heathen gods have no power—that God and God alone is to be praised, worshipped and feared.
Good for evil or evil for good
“The bloodthirsty hate the blameless, but the upright seek his well-being.”
Even while being hated by godless men, true believers pray for and desire to see them come to the knowledge of God and be saved from an eternity in hell.
Accepting God’s gracious work
Again and again in Scripture, we see that one of the character qualities of a believer is humility (vv. 5-6). We think of humility as merely a lack of boasting, but humility is also the ability to trust God and be joyful in the midst of difficulty—that is to humbly accept His gracious work in our lives.
Throughout history men and women who have been mightily used by God have had to first submit themselves to God’s providential work in their lives. Daniel was carried off to Babylon and forced to leave his family and everything he knew. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, falsely accused, imprisoned, and forgotten. Ruth lost her husband and was left to care for a bitter mother-in-law.
In what area of your life are you struggling to trust God? In what circumstance are you impatient for a change? Are you allowing that desire to drive you to your knees in humble obedience or have you stiffened your neck in pride and anger?
“… humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time … for He cares for you” (v. 6).
Share your struggles and concerns in the comments section. I’d like to pray for you over the next month. And I’d like to recommend Jerry Bridges book Trusting God Even When Life Hurts. There is a link below.
Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts
In an effort to strengthen his own trust in God during a time of adversity, Navigator author Jerry Bridges began a lengthy Bible study on God’s sovereignty. The revelations changed his life. In Trusting God, Jerry shares the scope of God’s power to help you come to know Him better, have a relationship with Him, and trust Him more—even when unjust things happen. Tragedy, grief, loss, and death are part of life. Discover how Trusting God can reveal biblical truths about God.
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