“I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38 (NLT)
Life is full of obstacles! At times, it feels like one obstacle after another, and they’re overwhelming. What are the obstacles you’re facing right now? It could be in a relationship, your marriage, family, finances or at work. One of my favorite Bible characters is Daniel. His story encourages me with a faith that holds you together when life tries to tear you apart. Maybe you’ve stepped up and accepted the Be the Message faith building challenge and, as soon as you did, it seemed like one obstacle after another has been pushed in front of you! You may even begin to worry that you got out of God’s will somewhere along the way. That’s why the story of Daniel is such an encouragement to me. Talk about being the message! Daniel was a man of integrity. Even when his critics tried to dig up some dirt on Daniel, they came up with nothing! He was squeaky clean. He was also a man of genuine faith. The Bible says he prayed three times a day. He didn’t stop, despite the King’s edict not to pray with the threat of being thrown into a lions’ den! I think I may have been tempted to at least shut the window when I prayed to remove any evidence. Not Daniel. He had a faith that held him together when life tried to literally tear him apart! How did he conquer his fears? Max Lucado said, “Feed your faith, and your fears will starve. Feed your fears, and your faith will starve.” Daniel shows us how to feed our faith so that we can overcome the obstacles in life that threaten to tear us apart. In the next couple of days, we’ll examine some insights we learn from Daniel that will deepen our faith. Here’s the first one:
- The Lions’ Den is a Divine Opportunity! Daniel was in the center of God’s will for his life, and yet he’s thrown into a den of lions! There’s a mistaken notion among many Christ followers today that the center of God’s will is the most comfortable place to be. The truth is, the comfort zone is the death zone! God didn’t design us to live in the comfort zone. He wants us to live with passion in the adventure of the faith zone. The faith zone is where you have to take risks and learn to lean on Him for everything! I love the passage in Daniel 6:17 that describes his predicament. It says, “A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.” The lions’ den was Daniel’s greatest obstacle! It was his biggest problem! But that obstacle was God’s opportunity to show Himself mighty on Daniel’s behalf. His biggest problem was God’s greatest possibility! When the stone was placed over the den it must have been hard to see. That’s one of the big problems with life’s obstacles. They can often blind you. You can’t see a way out, and you begin to doubt in the darkness. You can’t see what God is up to, and you wonder if He really cares. Will He come through for you? It looks like a dead end! Look at that phrase describing Daniel again – “… so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.” It was humanly impossible! But God loves to turn dead ends into deliverance!
Maybe you’re feeling a lot like Daniel. The lions you’re facing threaten to tear you apart, and you’re tempted to compromise your faith! Don’t do it! God wants you to experience a faith that will hold you together! He will make a way where there seems to be no way! Trust Him. Nothing can ever separate you from His love!