DANIEL – Thriving in Babylon – Jean Symons – 4 August 2019

The story of Christ is the story of ordinary people who have been freed by Him.

This morning Jean spoke to us about hopelessness and hopeless situations in our lives. Daniel experienced this scenario in his life as well, but the Holy Spirit opened the door of courage and bravery in his heart.

Daniel’s hope gave birth to courage.

Am I a victim? I should let life happen through me, not to me!

The little book on which this series of lessons were built is “Thriving in Babylon” by Larry Osborne.  He reiterates that Daniel had hope in the Biblical sense of the word; a deep seated confidence in God’s character and sovereignty; he viewed and evaluated circumstances through the correct lens (perspective).

Hope commences by my knowledge…what I know. The question is, how impenetrable is my knowledge?

Daniel’s knowledge was that God was with him.

This knowledge says: I cannot trace God’s hand, but I can trust his heart!

Daniel chose obedience regardless of the chaos of his circumstances.

Sometimes we complain that the outcome is taking much longer than what we anticipated. We wonder what to do next. We need to return to the place of obedience. Don’t get stuck in your crisis.

Daniel received the gift of wisdom from God.

Larry Osborne introduces us to a man forced to live in a fast-changing and godless society. This man faced fears about the future, concern for his safety, and the discouragement of a world that seemed to be falling apart at warp speed. That man was Daniel and with the power of hope, humility and wisdom, he not only survived, but thrived.’ (goodreads.com)

Sometimes we need wisdom rather than miracles. Daniel overcame hopelessness as well as ignorance.

Hope does not happen overnight. A life filled with hope is a life that is grown. Growth is steady and over time, coupled with tolerance and care.

Hopelessness is a result of impatience.

Romans 5:2-5 (AMP) – Through Him we also have access by faith into this [remarkable state of] grace in which we [firmly and safely and securely] stand. Let us rejoice in our hope and the confident assurance of [experiencing and enjoying] the glory of [our great] God [the manifestation of His excellence and power]. And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation]. Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

(MSG) – By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. 3-5 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling short-changed. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Hope is honest.

Jeremiah 29:1; 4-6; 7; 11 – Now these are the words of the letter which Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders in exile and to the priests, the prophets and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.  “So says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the captives whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, ‘Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there and do not decrease [in number]. Seek peace and well-being for the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its peace (well-being) you will have peace.’ 11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Troubled circumstances are more effective and desirable for us than when all things run smoothly. When we struggle, we grow and mature. These are the times when we place our confidence and hope in God and rely on obedience to guide us to victory.

Quoting Larry Osborne: ‘That’s what the backside of hardship and suffering does. It teaches us perspective. It takes the fear out of the things that terrify others.’

 

 

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