Thursday, February 26th

Thursday, February 26th

But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Daniel 6:10

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety. Proverbs 29:25

No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. Hebrews 12:11

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:6-7

Daniel's leadership peers wanted it to be that they would find Daniel praying when they arrived at his house. They wanted it to be that Daniel would become guilty of breaking the new law. They wanted it to be that Daniel would be thrown in the lion's den and die so that he could not be appointed to the position of authority over them by King Darius. The whole premise of the plan concocted by the leadership peers of Daniel counted on Daniel praying to his God in spite of the new law. That is quite a remarkable thing - Daniel's enemies knew he would not violate his commitments and convictions regarding his faith in his God. Why was it that what Daniel would do or not do was such a sure thing? I believe it was because Daniel's motivation to experience the rewards of staying true to his faith and not to experience the consequences of being unfaithful was greater than the motivation for any temporary pleasure the world might give or any relief from the consequeces that might come from not running counter to the culture. This is what the image of "windows open" conveys. The passages above present a value system about the role of testing and trials that needs to be in place in our lives. Our oriententation to comfort, convienience, and the path of least resistence make it hard for us to welcome and embrace testing and trials. This must change if we are to be like Daniel who could be counted on to hold true to the commitment and convictions of his faith

And so Lord, I ask you to bring this change about in my life. I confess that I am spiritually soft and need the conditioning effects of testing and trials. I am willing to let you more effectively use testing and trials to produce the spiritual muscle and stamina necessary to make me spiritually fit. Forgive me Lord for my resistence and for my lack of faith in your wise provision for what is truly necessary in my life. Your will be done!

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