Overcoming Troubled Times

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

When we put God first place in our life and we pray, everything will turn out perfect in our life, right? Wrong! If you haven’t figured this out yet—and I know you have—we live in a world of evil tainted and perverted by sin and people who have let their lives be controlled by evil. Evil tries to touch your life every day. This being true, it is so important to put God first place in your life, learn His ways, and pray. Think for a second of it in these terms: Think of yourself as a good parent trying to protect your children. A good parent helps them to learn to discern between good and evil and between right and wrong choices and the consequences of both. As a good parent you protect in all the appropriate ways you can. God influences our heart as we open our lives to Him. Through the pursuit of learning His Word and seeking Him through prayer, He speaks to us and leads us by His Spirit. In that process – in a thousand ways He helps us made decisions that bless our life and avoid pitfalls. But even then, the enemy of our soul works to “kill, steal, and destroy.” Jesus taught, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” (John 10:10)

Putting God first doesn’t resolve every evil that would come against us, but it helps us to remain true to God and His direction and core values in the midst of things that can and do seem to go wrong.

As we read yesterday, Daniel was one that had an “excellent spirit.” Daniel 6:3 “Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.” Daniel was also someone that looked to God for His wisdom and help in every situation, good or bad. He walked in humility knowing that everything that went well in his life was because of the Lord. Consequently, his life was all about seeking God consistently. Daniel 6:10 says, ”Daniel… went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.”

Daniel lived in Babylon. It was a total pagan culture of false gods and people completely ignorant of the ways of God. He was surrounded by men that didn’t “get” him. They didn’t understand why he was the way he was. They didn’t understand his success. They were simply jealous of him and hated him. All the pagan king really understood, at times, was that he himself was being blessed because of Daniel and Daniel’s God.

Daniel’s jealous peers lied about him, plotted against him, and tried to get rid of him. Troubles came over and over but because of Daniel’s close walk with God. God helped Daniel navigate those troubled waters and supernaturally helped him again and again. Daniel 6:22 “My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.”

Eventually those who came against Daniel became an afternoon snack for some lions. Whether in this life or the life to come, justice will eventually come. We have to leave justice in the hands of God.

Daniel wasn’t out to see the evil plotters of his life destroyed. He was simply out to stay close to God so he wasn’t embittered with the hardships of life and he could stay true to walking out his course in God. Daniel faced some difficult times but he was also blessed beyond imagination because he was so highly favored by the King.

Putting God first does not stop every attack of the enemy of our soul, but it does help deliver us from more evil than we could ever imagine. It also leads us to the wells of God’s blessing if we will keep a thankful heart. When Daniel prayed three times a day, he went each time to thank God for the good in his life and for God’s hand upon his life. He was focused on the blessing and sought wisdom and help for navigating the evil. God shut the mouth of lions and blessed him with the riches of kings. That is the benefit of seeking God first!

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt Copyright© 2010 All rights reserved.
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