Defeating Discouragement

Daniel 6 is a very interesting chapter. It dives deeply into the character of Daniel. The new king, Darius, was considering putting Daniel second in command. He talked it over with all his advisors. The ugly head of envy rose up and sought a way to thwart the king’s desire. Daniel 6:3 says, “Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.

The other advisors looked for a way to find fault with Daniel. Verse 4 says, “…but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful…” In verse 6 they knew that they could find fault with the law of his God. So they devised an evil plan. They convinced the king to sign a decree that anyone who petitioned any god or man for thirty days except the king  would be cast into the den of lions.

Once the decree was signed, it could not be changed or altered according to the law of the Medes and the Persians. Verse 10 says, “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home…” Did he go home discouraged? No! He never changed his pattern of life. You see, Daniel had developed a deep abiding relationship with the Lord. He was a man of purpose. His character was forged long before he ever faced the temptations set before him in his captivity. 

Verse 6 continued. He went to his upper room, opened his windows toward Jerusalem, knelt down on his knees, and prayed. It says, “…and gave thanks before His God, as was his custom since early days.” He never broke his established pattern of worship. The advisors found Daniel praying and making supplication. In 1 Kings 8, king Solomon prayed. Verse 30 says, “And may You hear the supplication of Your servant…when they pray toward this place…” Verse 32 says, “…condemning the wicked, bringing his way on his head…”

King Darius was distraught. He tried every way possible to free Daniel. He finally had to concede because of the decree which could not be altered. Daneil was thrown into the lion’s den. He spent the night there untouched. The Lord shut the mouths of the lions! Verse 24 says that the king threw all his advisors and their families into the den. “…the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.” May the Lord do that for His enemies that are attacking our nation!

Romans 5:3-4 is a written progression of God’s purposeful path in our trials. He uses them to deepen our hope so we can defeat all temptations to be discouraged. Tribulation produces perseverance. Perseverance produces purified character, which deepens our hope. Verse 5 says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

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