How to persevere in trial -Part 1
Crowns and thrones perish, kingdoms rise and wane, nations rise and fall, but God’s Kingdom is from generation to generation, His dominion is everlasting. He reigns on high, and He rules uninterrupted in the affairs of men. Change in human government is inevitable, but believers continue to trust in God and live for His glory, whatever the circumstances around them may be. Change of government and administration, alteration in the economic conditions of nations and of the world will not affect the faith of God’s children in His promises. The church of Jesus will remain, in conviction and commitment to God’s Word.
The Babylonian empire had fallen and the
rose in its stead. Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans, was slain and Darius the Median took the kingdom. “And Daniel continued.” Darius appointed an entirely new administration, but he still retained Daniel because of his excellent character, integrity, wisdom, self-renouncing devotion and experience. Daniel was now advanced in age – an old man approaching 90 years of age – but he was still active in service. As his days were, so was his strength. As he grew older, so he grew in faith, grew in knowledge, grew in wisdom, grew in leadership skill and ability, grew in courage and steadfastness, grew in spiritual insight and revelation, grew in usefulness to the Kingdom of God and the government of the empire. The thought of retiring to a life of ease and idleness was not given any consideration. Faithful and devoted to God, righteous and trustworthy before men, he was considered for greater responsibility by the new king. Envy led others to plot against his life, but he continued quietly in prayerful devotion to God. Neither the king’s favour nor the frown of the presidents and the princes could change his conviction, consecration and commitment to his God.
Men who aspire to ascend to positions of greater responsibility and usefulness must be willing to pay the price of purity, integrity, accountability and dependability in times of difficulty. It is always the highway of self-denial, the way of self-forgetfulness in service that leads to success and promotion. Those who intend to wear the crown must be willing to bear the cross. Daniel did not seek recognition or greatness. His only desire was to serve God and man and he saw promotion as another opportunity for doing good and a larger opening for greater usefulness. If we have such attitude as Daniel had, God will put us where we ought to be.
Daniel did not reach this high position by any sudden spring. He moved up gradually through various levels of service and usefulness. His “excellent spirit” won for him extraordinary success, his truthfulness won trust, his faithfulness won favour, and his integrity won the interest of kings. “This Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes BECAUSE AN EXCELLENT SPIRIT WAS IN HIM; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.”
Scripturally sound convictions, high and holy principles of living, integrity and transparent righteousness will not go unnoticed. The eyes of the King of heaven are on such people as Daniel to set them over soul-saving ministries, so that the Kingdom of God will “have no damage.” Even earthly leaders seek such Daniels to occupy strategic positions, so that “the king should have no damage.” An excellent spirit of genuine piety, a clear conscience in all actions relating to God and man, made Daniel a man of uncompromising integrity that he was. The spirit, not the flesh; godly behaviour, not goodly beauty, is the principal thing. Daniel’s clarity of purpose, commitment to purity, constancy in prayer, courage during persecution and contentment without pretence set him apart as a unique man, whose only reason for living is seeking God’s glory.
Further Reading (King James Version): Daniel 6:1-10; Daniel 6:1-3; Exodus 18:19-23; Daniel 5:12-14; Psalm 101:2-7; Acts 6:3-8; 1 Corinthians 4:1,2; 2 Timothy 2:19-22; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Daniel 2:48; Psalm 75:4-7.