The words of King Darius echoed through Daniel’s mind as servants lowered him into the lion’s den. “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you” (Dan. 6:16). Workers then laid a heavy stone over the opening to the underground chamber.
Even after assessing his dire situation, Daniel did not waver in his faith. The next morning, King Darius found Daniel untouched and proclaiming, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me” (Dan. 6:21-22).
How did Daniel survive? Were the lions not hungry? Historians tell us animals used for such planned executions went unfed for days in an effort to ensure the death of the accused. But Daniel’s fate was never in the hands of men. His life belonged to God, and therein lies the victory. Daniel survived by placing his trust in God and his faith in the Lord’s promises.
Each of us can remember times when we wished we had a sure word from God—something we could cling to when doubts and fears arose. God knows when we need encouragement, guidance, and hope. This is why He provides specific promises in His Word, that we might understand His nature and trust Him. In emotionally devastating times, God’s promises are essential to our spiritual welfare.
His Word is therefore a compass, a guide, and an instruction book to life. Just as we use instruction manuals at work or in the kitchen, we are to use God’s Word as our resource for wisdom and truth. No one would think of baking a cake without a recipe, nor would a mechanic rebuild a car engine without a manual.
Some of God’s promises are conditional, but we can stand in faith on all of them. It’s not a matter of naming and claiming a promise; however, promises should be coupled with prayer and an earnestness to know God’s will for our lives. While God wants each of us to experience His best, He also wants us to know and enjoy His presence in a personal way that best expresses His sufficiency. Claiming a promise without leadership from His Holy Spirit will lead to disappointment, disillusionment, and frustration.
At times God brings a specific Scripture to mind that ministers His hope and reassurance to our hearts. At other times, He challenges us to pray and seek His wisdom on a certain issue. When we look to God in faith, He will lead us according to His will. Of course, this may not happen overnight. Many times God wants us to meditate on a certain Scripture over a period of time before He gives His guidance.
When King David sought God’s heart regarding his desire to build the temple, the Bible says: “Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord” (2 Sam. 7:18). David didn’t order his men to begin construction. He waited for God’s leadership—and it was a good thing he did because the Lord wanted David’s son Solomon to do the job instead.
God honored David’s attitude, however, and gave him a wonderful promise: “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:16). The Lord always honors our desire to seek His guidance and wisdom. If we will come to God expecting Him to answer, He will never disappoint us.
In Daniel’s day, God spoke through visions, dreams, and sometimes audibly. Today, He speaks primarily through His Word, since He never wants us involved in anything that contradicts Scripture. Any verse can be taken out of context and twisted. But if we are true to God’s Word and understand Scripture within its context, then we will realize how to apply His principles and promises to our lives—and find strength to cling to the Lord in the most difficult situations. Instead of being emotionally blown one way and then another, we learn to stand firm in our commitment and trust in Christ.
Therefore, consider God’s promises your spiritual anchors. Once you learn to follow Him, pursue His lead wherever He goes because He never fails to keep His promises. Rather, He is teaching you to depend upon Him through meditating on His Word and listening for His voice.
Are you willing to patiently wait for Him to fulfill everything He has promised you and rescue you as He did Daniel? Never try putting God on your time schedule. Instead, cling to Him, anchor your heart to His Word, and leave room for Him to bring everything together according to His plan and timing.
You’ll be glad you did.
Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.
This post is a part of the series Life Principles to Live By.