Devotional

The courage to be still

Lucy Lim // November 5, 2018, 6:00 am

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Photo by James Pond on Unsplash.

You are going about your life as usual.  There is no hint of trouble. And suddenly, something happens and your life is threatened.

Unexpected illness. A bad accident. Office politics. A natural disaster.

Unexpected situations can bring despair and a sense of hopelessness. How can we handle them with our own limited strength, resources and knowledge?

But God is faithful when we turn to Him.

One day, Daniel found himself in such a situation(Daniel 2:1-13).

What is your first, automatic response when an unreasonable demand is made of you? Or an unexpected situation comes your way? 

King Nebuchadnezzar had had a dream that troubled him. He could not sleep so he summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to interpret his dream. None of them could do it. It was an unreasonable and impossible task.

King Nebuchadnezzar had threatened to cut them into pieces and burn their homes if they could not come up with an answer. He also promised great rewards and honour to the one who could do it.

The king’s men were exasperated and desperate. What were they going to do? 

They tried to reason with the king: “What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men.” (Daniel 2:10-11)

Their comments infuriated the king. He issued an order to execute all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel and his friends would be included in the list.

They didn’t do anything wrong. They didn’t even know why they were being arrested. But suddenly they found themselves on the “wanted list”! This was so unreasonable, so unexpected.

The first thing we learn is to never say: “Such and such a disaster will not happen to me.” 

Believers do not have immunity from troubles.

Are you caught in some forms of trouble without warning? 

Are you facing unreasonable demands from your boss or spouse or children? Are you hit with a major illness, or with a car, or with retrenchment – something that you never thought would fall upon you? 

How are you responding to them? 

Expect troubles because you and I do not have immunity from them. Do not think that just because we belong to Jesus, we are protected from sufferings and troubles in the world.   

In John 16:33, Jesus says: “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world!”

In the face of trouble

Once again, we see the wisdom and courage of Daniel in times of trouble (Daniel 2:14-19). 

When he was arrested, he did not resist but sought to find out the source of the trouble. 

He spoke to the king’s officer with wisdom and tact. Then he boldly sought an audience with the king and asked for time so he may interpret the dream for him.

There was no: “Oh dear!  I can’t believe this is happening to me. God, where are You? Why are You doing this to me? I didn’t even do anything to deserve this.” 

The Lord often reveals the way out when we are quiet and still.

When the king granted his request, Daniel called on his community immediately. There was a sense of urgency yet calmness in him. 

He urged them to plead to God for mercy concerning the mystery of the dream so that they, together with all the wise men of Babylon, might not be executed. That night, God revealed the dream and its interpretation to Daniel.

Urgent situations call for urgent prayers and total reliance on the Lord. 

There is also a need for practical wisdom to be exercised

What is your first, automatic response when there is a urgent matter you need to resolve? Or an unreasonable demand made of you? Or when an unexpected situation comes your way? 

Your first response will show who you really identify with on the inside. 

Daniel’s response showed the depth of his trust in the Lord and his deep relationship with Him. There was a sense of urgency but also a quiet, confident trust in God.

Acknowledging God 

We see Daniel taking positive steps to see the king and he gave glory to God, explaining that no one can explain the dream except the God in heaven who reveals mysteries (Daniel 2:20-49). 

He told the king his dream and gave its interpretation – explaining that God has shown to the king what will take place in the future. The king fell prostrate before Daniel and praised Daniel’s God. 

Oftentimes, God doesn’t take us out of our troubles. He waits on us to call on him. Then He provides the way of escape for us. 

Our problem is – we are often impatient and do not like to wait on the Lord. So we take matters into our own hands and call on our resources and connections.

The Lord often reveals the way out when we are quiet and still.

Do you have the courage to act on God’s leading when He shows it to you, especially after a time of prayer? When God reveals, we must have the courage to act.

Reflection and Discussion

  1. What troubles are you facing today? How do the words of Jesus in John 16:33 encourage you to respond well to your troubles? 
  2. In what ways have you seen God’s leading during times of trouble in your life, or the lives of those around you? 
  3. Think of someone whom you can encourage with the knowledge of this truth. Spend some time in prayer and intercede for that person.
About the author

Lucy Lim

Lucy Lim has been actively serving the Lord for over 40 years in her church, as well as in VisionTrust Asia, Bible Study Fellowship and Singapore Youth for Christ. A teacher at heart, Lucy's passion is to bring God’s Word to women and the next generation.