Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon …. For this reason at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and brought charges against the Jews. They responded and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king: “O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe and all kinds of music, is to fall down and worship the golden image. But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.” Daniel 3:1, 8-12
In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be ashamed; in Your righteousness deliver me. Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; be to me a rock of strength, a stronghold to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; for Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me. You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength. Psalm 31:1-4
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Daniel’s and his friends faced many stressful situations in Babylon. The situation of Daniel’s friends in our passage above was certainly packed with stress. They had come face to face with the king’s decree to worship the golden image and experienced the stressful trial of whether they would bow or not. They had made the decision to stay true to God Almighty and were under the stress of the impending consequences for their refusal. And now they have been turned in for disregarding the king’s decree and have come under the extreme stress of facing the king and the promised punishment that awaits them. The words of David in our Psalm above could easily be the words of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Most certainly they need to become our words as we grow in our faith and reliance on God.
It does not matter how big the troubles and stresses in our lives become, God stands ready to address our need through the ministry of His gracious Spirit and His powerful Word. Anxiety from stress in today’s world is a widespread problem that affects many people significantly enough to interfere with their quality of life. There are many stressful things that come at us from the world around us that play a major role in the anxiety we experience. When we encounter stressful things, it is not always clear whether they create the anxiety or simply reveal a condition of our inner being from which the anxiety springs. Probably for most of us it is mixture of both rather than one or the other. Regardless, we can stand tall in this troubled world when we handle well the stress and anxiety in our lives by making God our refuge as we exercise faith and reliance on Him, our rock and fortress. Providing help so this comes about more fully in our lives is the focus of this week’s Devotionals.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, there are so many wonderful things that are true of you that impact my life in amazing ways. Help me to experience you more fully than ever before. I desperately need you to be the true refuge of my life. May you truly become more real to me than the stress and anxiety of my troubles. Thank you, Lord being my Rock and Fortress. Amen!
Posted on Mon, April 3, 2017
by Ken Hart