Daniel’s teenage world turned upside down.
He and many of his friends were stolen from their families and relocated in a foreign country. But his demeanor and talents soon endeared him to the ruler who enlisted him as an advisor. His ability to interpret dreams led the next king to promote him.
In spite of being far away from home, Daniel enjoyed the good life until the unexpected happened. Jealousy transformed assumed friends into enemies. They hatched a plot designed to bring Daniel’s downfall by persuading the ruler to pass a law forbidding worship of any other gods for thirty days.
But Daniel had integrity. Though surrounded by unbelieving peers, he continued worshipping his God, regardless of the new law. The penalty was a trip to the lion’s den.
Daniel's conniving peers trapped him and the king, but the king was quick to investigate whether Daniel’s God was more powerful. As soon as dawn’s light pierced his window, he ran to the lion’s den: Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions? (Daniel 6:20) He had.
Lions used for this purpose were normally starved and tore victims to shreds before they hit the floor. With no light, Daniel could only hear their pacing and panting. He couldn’t shout for help lest he draw their attention.
The lion’s den was a proving ground for Daniel’s faith. I too have encountered some crucibles where I had to decide whether I would follow God or other enticing routes. I don't always make the right choice, but when I do the testing leads to stronger faith. And I find myself cautiously wanting God to prove me again so I can grow more.
God’s proving grounds are seldom enjoyable, but they have purpose. When we obey in spite of misunderstandings, he rewards us with stronger faith, more powerful testimonies, and an enhanced ability to help others on their journey to healthier faith.
Prayer: God, test our faith so we can grow up in our faith.
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