The story of Daniel is one of the Sunday School staples. We’ve all heard about this guy who gets thrown in a lions den and God miraculously delivers him. But that trite summary doesn’t give us the full picture.
Daniel was an exile, a captive to the King of Babylon. He was an outcast, but his reputation for having the “spirit of the holy gods” within him was so widely known that even the Queen knew who he was (Daniel 5:11). He was not in a nation that held his same religious beliefs, yet he still served the God of Israel.
Something awesome is that his name means, “God is my judge.” That wasn’t just the definition of his name, it was also the definition of his life. It did not matter to him what everyone else thought, he was going to stay true and serve his God.
His faithfulness grew his reputation, and one day the King needed someone to interpret his dream. Daniel’s ability to interpret that dream gained him favor, and his importance and status in the king’s eyes. He went from exile and captive, to becoming the most distinguished high official. Life was looking really good.
But the other officials grew jealous of the favor Daniel was receiving. They knew that the only way to bring Daniel down would be to attack his faith. The thing that was the core of who he was. So they played the king by appealing to his pride and got a new law passed that if anyone “made petition” (ie prayed) to any other god but the king, then they would be thrown in the Lion’s den. The king signed it.
We have to go back to Daniel 6, verse 10, to read Daniel’s reaction, “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.”
Daniel did the very thing that would land him in the lion’s den. Nothing was going to stop him from praising God. He went about his daily practice like normal.
It’s an incredible reaction. His life was on the line, and he praised. His success was about to crash down around him, and he got down on his knees three times a day to thank God for what he was doing in his life.
In the story of Daniel, we often skip over this part of the story and just concentrate on the miracle of God saving him, which is truly amazing! But we do not want to miss the example of character and perseverance he was.
The theme we have been focused on for FAITH RXD recently has been #610STRONG. Daniel 6:10 is the foundational verse for this movement. True strength starts on our knees, and it starts with gratitude.
In the last Faith Workout we discussed how the connection of Grace and Glory is gratitude. Praise God and intentionally thank him for all he has done in your life. Daniel shows us that no matter what our circumstance, no matter what is happening around us, we can find a reason and something to be grateful for.
Gratitude is a choice. A daily choice. A moment by moment choice.
- What stands out to you the most from the chapter about the life of Daniel?
- Have you ever let jealousy get in your way?
- Why is it often hard for us to choose gratitude?
- What are some things that happened today, doesn’t matter how small, that you can be grateful for?
- If you haven’t started your gratitude practice, we challenge you to take this week, or holiday season, to take a moment at the end of each day to write three things that happened that day that you’re grateful for.