When the World’s All Wrong…Trust God
As a young man, Daniel the Hebrew was selected with some of his friends to be trained for the Babylonian king’s court. He and his friends in exile were taught the Babylonian literature and language. However, Daniel was determined that he would not lose his convictions in this process of assimilation. Notably, Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s food.
When he got pushback for the stand he took, Daniel could have lost his resolve. On the other hand, he could have recklessly taken matters into his own hands, running ahead of God and trying to force his own strategy. Even after he received agreement from the authorities to test out his special diet (Daniel 1:14), he could have sat around and worried about if God would come through. He didn’t do this either.
Instead, throughout the process, he trusted God with the results. And God rewarded his faith by demonstrating His power. Notice all the ways God came through:
First, God provided for Daniel and his friends physically. Verse 15 says, “At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food.” This resulted in the overseer’s choice to continue providing the diet Daniel had requested.
God provided for them intellectually. Notice verse 17: “As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” God was providing them with wisdom and insights which would eventually cause their captors to marvel.
God also provided for them exponentially. Not only did God give them these things, but He provided such a generous dose that they far surpassed their peers. Daniel goes on to narrate how, at the end of the specified days, they were brought in before the king: “The king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom” (Daniel 1:18-19).
In a world that seems all wrong, we too must learn to do what’s right and trust God with the results.
In an increasingly post-Christian and polarized world, there are going to be things we do to follow Jesus which do not naturally make sense. Sacrificially love and pray for the people who paint Christian beliefs in a threatening light? Speak unpopular biblical truth which the culture might try to cancel? Choose joy during times of uncertainty and suffering?
We choose to follow God’s way and to trust Him with the results.
Michael Card tells the story of a Masai warrior named Joseph. After Joseph became a follower of Jesus, he excitedly returned to his village to tell them about the salvation they too could find in Jesus. They responded by beating him and dragging him out of the village.
When he revived, he realized he must have said something wrong or left something out. So he returned to the village again to tell them the story of Jesus. Again, they beat him, dragged him out of the village, and left him to die.
When he returned a third time, they began beating him before he could even begin sharing about Jesus. But this time, the people beating him began weeping. He awoke in his own bed, with the villagers nursing him back to health. They had now resolved to become followers of Jesus too.
Joseph set his mind to sharing his faith for the glory of the Lord. He persevered in the face of challenges and left the results to God. And look what God did. Similarly, in a world that was all wrong, Daniel chose to do right. As we find ourselves in similar circumstances, we can do the same.
God’s power in our lives can reach our world if we will take these same steps of setting our minds, persevering in challenges, and trusting God with the results.
Because of Daniel and his friends, all of Babylon would come to know of God’s power (3:28). And it’s because of you that your spouse, children, coworkers, friends, and enemies can know that there is a God in Heaven who loves them. A God who sent His Son to die that they might inherit eternal life.
How we are missing out when we do not trust God to provide for us in all things! We need to be willing to trust Him. Among the saddest words in Scripture are those that recount Jesus’ trip back to his hometown of Nazareth. A single line tells us the tragic tale,
“And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief” (Matthew 15:38).
God has an arm full of power and blessing He wishes to pour over our lives, but when we do not trust in Him, it is as though we are holding His arm back. It’s as though we are saying, “Thanks, I got this.”
Amazing things happen when we set our minds to obedient acts for the glory of God and leave the results to Him. As we experience God’s power working in our own lives, we will find Babylon being impacted for God’s glory.