September 13, 2016

Daniel 6:23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

The Bible has many dramatic scenes, but this is right up there in the top ranking. The person who recorded this was careful to note that Daniel’s dramatic rescue was because he trusted in God. It was so dramatic that Darius turned the tables on those who had sought to do Daniel in, and included their wives and children, as is recorded in the very next verse. (Like with fairy tales, such details are generally soft-pedaled when this story is taught to children.) The whole point is, trusting God has its rewards. An even more dramatic example is found in Daniel 3. I’ve preached numbers of times on the statement recorded in 3:16-18 that God is able to rescue, but even if He doesn’t choose to do so, faithfulness is called for. Hundreds of thousands of people have been martyred for their faith down through the ages. It’s not that they didn’t trust God, much less that he was unable to save them, but rather that He had even better plans for them and for those who would be influenced by them and their circumstances. (Hebrews 11:39-40) We do not know what plans God has for us, but as Nate Saint so famously said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” The ultimate reward for those who believe is in eternity with God, so we aren’t to be anxious about whatever happens in the mean time.

I’ve not been faced with martyrdom, but I live in a city where hundreds of believers gave their lives rather than deny Christ. That makes me think! They trusted God and were faithful even to death, leaving their children behind. (We have a place in the city where the parents who were to be killed were separated from their underage children.) I am to follow their example, seeking first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, knowing that God’s “love is better than life.” (Psalm 63:3) Too often I pull back because of things that are trivial in comparison, such as the opinion of men, or even inconvenience. As a pastor I am constantly calling people to place God first, but I must not fall short in my own life. My trust of God and my love for Him and His children are the most powerful elements of my testimony, and the reason He leaves me here is to be His witness. (Acts 1:8)

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the various ways You use me to bless others. May my every interaction be a testimony of You indeed, drawing them to repentance and faith for their eternal blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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