Against All Odds

I’ve taken a haphazard break from blogging, and I’m ready to get back in the rhythm, so here goes! 🙂

I was recently rereading the story of Daniel, and I noticed something about the circumstances surrounding his success. Take a look at three of his circumstances.

Situation 1. To start with, Daniel was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Daniel was taken into a pagan country. This king did not fear God! He took items from the temple in Jerusalem and put them in the temple of his own god. If the odds were against anyone, they seemed to be against Daniel! However, through this strange turn of events, Daniel received a rich education. But more than that, God gave him and his friends a divine knowledge and understanding of the Babylonian culture and literature.

Situation 2. The next time Daniel is mentioned in the narrative, he’s having a conversation with the man who had been assigned to execute him! The king had a dream and wanted to know its meaning, but none of his men could reveal the dream to the king. Daniel requested more time, then begged God to step in. God revealed the king’s dream to him, and as a result, the king promoted him to a high position of authority.

Situation 3. Later we read of Daniel’s regular prayer and devotion to God. Jealous men conspired a plan to get him killed, and Daniel is thrown into the den of lions. God spares his life, and as a result, King Darius sends a command to all people and all nations (“the world”) to fear and reverence God (Daniel 6:24-25).

Look at the great successes in Daniel’s life:

  1. King Nebuchadnezzar provided him with rich education and training, and God adds divine knowledge and understanding to it.
  2. King Nebuchadnezzar promoted him to a high position of authority.
  3. King Darius commanded the world to fear and reverence God.

However, each of these events were preceded by life-threatening events:

  1. Daniel was taken captive by a pagan king.
  2. Daniel was confronted by an executioner ready to kill him.
  3. Daniel was thrown into a den of lions that should have eaten him alive.

You see, it seems God’s blessing did not merely come in spite of these events. God’s blessing came through these events.

My challenges in life look simple compared to Daniel’s, but I face situations that seem threaten my personal success. If you’re following God, you’ve probably had one. And if you’re following God and you’re not in a situation like that, you’re probably about to walk into one.

In the middle of that situation, remember Daniel. More importantly, remember Daniel’s God. The God who worked immense good through Daniel’s situations is still alive. He never changes. Your greatest breakthrough may be hidden behind a life-threatening circumstance only God can deliver you from. No matter your situation, always remember that God works, against all odds, for His glory.

Soli Deo gloria.

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