"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." Nahum 1:7 (NIV)
Times are tough. People everywhere are losing their jobs, their homes, and their hope. If it has happened to you, then you know how devastating loss can be. You know what it feels like to be at the mercy of a job interviewer, or enslaved to a credit lender. It can leave us feeling less than.
Most of us seek identity in our jobs, dreams, talents, or peers. The people we love, the things we own, and the job we do often defines who we are. When we lose those things, we feel as though we have lost our identity. After that, what else is left?
The good news is--there is more left than we realize. This was true for after King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. The king ordered for some royal family Israelites to be taken into captivity. The order specified those who were attractive, smart, healthy, and who would make good servants to the king. Daniel was among them. They were also told what to eat and what to drink.
I imagine most the captives were distraught by all they had lost. They had been taken from their home, their land, and their people. But Daniel and his friends responded differently than most. They chose not to look at what they had lost but rather what they still had left.
Daniel had faith. He knew that the true King was large and in charge. Nebuchadnezzar may have been king of Babylon , but God was the King of Daniel.
Trusting God to work on his behalf, Daniel asked that he not have to defile himself by eating the king's food. Despite the official's hesitation, he granted Daniel's request due to God's favor.
As children of God, we do not have to lose heart or succumb to the world's ways either. No matter what kind of situation we are placed in, God can make the impossible possible. The Lord also gave knowledge and understanding to Daniel along with his three friends. This caught the king's attention. No one else in the kingdom could compare to these four. So, they entered the king's service without violating their faith and remained there until a new king took the throne.
Unfortunately, everyone experiences times of loss--a job, a friendship, a dream. Even so, our worth and identity are not found in these things. Nor is it found in our failures or losses. Your value and mine is in God and the amount of faith we have in Him.
When we find ourselves in our own Babylons, let's not look at what we've lost but at what we have left--our faith! It may be shaken but it can't be taken. Faith, like Daniel's, provides hope in a God who is large and in charge over every authority. That, my friend, is no loss. That is great gain.
Dear Lord, My focus has been on my circumstances instead of on You. Today, I chose to put my trust in You. I believe that You are aware of my situation and are working on my behalf. Fill my soul with peace and help me to rest in Your care. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow by Janet Eckles
Read about Daniel's story and exercising your faith in trying times at Micca's blog.
Instead of focusing on your loss, make a list of all you still have left.
Where do you get your worth from?
How can faith in God see you through hard times?
Psalm 138:7, "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life; You stretch out Your hand against the anger of my foes, with Your right hand You save me." (NIV)
1 Peter 5:7, "Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you." (NIV)