Daniel 6:16 (English Standard Version)
Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”
When we find ourselves in a den of lions—trapped in a conflict with those who hurt and betray us or even want to take us down—then it’s good to remember that we belong to God.
If we believe that God is sovereign, then we also believe that he either ordains or permits every situation that comes into our lives. This includes the painful, the ugly, the frustrating, the heartbreaking, the scary, the disappointing, and the confusing. When we face conflicts and relationship dilemmas, remembering whom we serve helps us to know how to respond.
If we serve the flesh—ourselves and the rule of the world—we are likely to respond selfishly. We will raise ourselves above the offending person and notice how he or she has failed us or disrespected our rights. We will justify our outrage and seek vindication by pointing out the other person’s faults and how we have been victimized. We may stubbornly hold out for an apology or restitution, or possibly plot a course of revenge.
If, on the other hand, we remember that we serve a sovereign God, then we will raise God above ourselves and respond with humility, recognizing how often we have sinned and been forgiven. When we remember that we serve a good and loving Father, our perception of our “lion’s den” shifts. Instead of lamenting or raging against a difficult circumstance, we can receive it in full confidence that God can make use of even this to somehow bless us. Perhaps he will use it to teach us something about ourselves or how we can better handle a difficult situation. He might use it to draw us closer to himself and teach us more about trust and faith. He might even plan to use our obedience to bless and heal the person with whom we are in conflict—a concept probably beyond our comprehension when we are in the midst of trouble.
When we remember that we serve a faithful God, we can trust that he is always looking out for our good. We can rely on his promise to never leave or forsake us but to be our refuge and strength, an ever-present help when we are in trouble.
FATHER, teach me what it means to trust you as my Sovereign Lord. Help me to accept all circumstances of my life—including the challenges and conflicts—as gifts that you will put to good use as I learn to trust and follow you each day and in every relationship.
Deuteronomy 31:6; Psalm 46:1; Hebrews 13:6
What lions are you facing today?