When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions.”
God’s abundant grace can cover us in any situation, including being thrown into a lions’ den. Life has a way of thrusting us into situations we don’t want or expect. Do any examples from your life come to mind? At those times, we can experience God’s grace to a greater degree. Have you had to face any lions in your own life? I mentioned earlier that Laurie and I endured several miscarriages. Waiting and praying to become pregnant again with the uncertainty of the next child being born and not knowing why the earlier miscarriages happened— these were all our lions. Sometimes God leads us into a lions’ den, and we don’t always make it out alive. There are thousands of martyrs in the last few decades that have gone to be with the Lord. We know that there are children of ours ahead of us in heaven already. When God does shut the mouths of the lions in our lives though, it’s time to celebrate and share the story. By His grace, we have been able to have three children now, and we are so thankful to God.
Daniel continued to walk with faith even when it looked like he would be killed. Because of his commitment to prayer, Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den by the king as a punishment. Facing ferocious lions, Daniel’s only hope was the grace of God. I like to picture Daniel grabbing the whiskers of the fiercest lion, pulling him down to the ground, and sleeping on him for the night! Then I picture Daniel asking the other lions to come close to keep him warm, and enjoying the best night of sleep in years. All we know is that Daniel emerged the next day from this death trap completely unharmed. And He was quick to give God the glory.
As we read Daniel chapter 6 and the account of his survival in the lions’ den, we can glean practical lessons from this event. The lions’ den became fertile grounds for a miracle. We know from Hebrews chapter 11, verse 6 that God is pleased when we seek His face and look to Him for help. It’s important to note what Daniel didn’t do: complain, worry, despair, quit, slander, or pout. If we are honest, these are all very tempting options when we are mistreated or thrown into a pack of hungry lions. Sometimes, it’s what we choose not to do that creates room for the good things that God wants to give us. Even in a lions’ den, Daniel wasn’t completely trapped. He was able to make four important decisions in the midst of his challenges:
1) Daniel chose to not let anyone or anything stop him from praying to God!
2) Daniel chose to live out his faith and be courageous even when it meant he would suffer for God.
3) Daniel chose to take no glory for the works of God in his life.
4) Daniel chose to let other people know about the goodness of the Lord.
1) Have there been times in your life when you had to face your fears?
2) What has God rescued you from in your journey?
3) What are the reasons God does miracles?
4) When was the last time God exceeded your expectations?
5) What comfort is there in the middle of a lions’ den?
Ephesians 3:20-21. You can’t put limits on what God can accomplish.
Psalm 115:1. God deserves the credit for what He alone can do.
Luke 1:34-38. Jesus’ birth reminds us of God’s supernatural abilities.
Psalm 103:1-5. It’s good to recall your blessings from God and proclaim it.
Psalm 91:11-13. God sends angels to protect you in danger.
Hebrews 13:3. Remember to pray for those who are persecuted or in prison.
Almighty God, I know there are times in my life when I will be facing lions. Help me not to worry or be afraid. May my trust in You increase and my wavering commitment to You become solid. When You rescue me Lord, help me give You the glory You deserve. And when You want to be glorified through what appears to be a tragedy, may I bless Your name then too. I pray for this in Your strength, Jesus. Amen.
For more from Pastor Jesse Bradley and Activate Media Ministries, visit www.activatelife.org