Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - April 25, 2006

Surviving the Lions

This devotional was written by Robin Dugall

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

I don’t think that there is one person whom I have ever met who has been exempted from hard times in life.  There is a misbelief in much of Christianity that once you experience the Kingdom of God in your life, and Jesus becomes intensely real to you, you are “protected” from tough times in life.  People interpret the “abundant life” that Jesus promises as if Jesus was around to insulate us from reality.  But it just doesn’t happen that way. For those who trust in Jesus, we echo what David wrote when he penned those famous words in the 23rd Psalm.

From today’s Scripture, note that David, the author of Psalm 23, didn’t write, “IF I walk through the valley…” Rather, he exclaims “even though.” Hard times are inevitable and to be anticipated.   It is part of what it means to live in a broken world.

There was a young man who went through horrendous hard times in his life.  His name is Daniel and his story can be found in the book of the Old Testament that bears his name.  One of the most “famous” stories that we know from Daniel’s life is when he found himself standing up for God, then ending up at the bottom of a lions’ den.  The biblical record tells us that Daniel continued seeking God in prayer even when a trap was laid for him by some supposed “wise men” in the king’s court. These men convinced the king to issue a law outlawing prayer to anyone other than to the king.  Even though King Darius respected Daniel, the hammer of justice fell on Daniel, who was quickly expedited to the lions’ den to suffer a sure and certain death. Daniel was thrown to the lions, but God delivered him.  The king was so astounded by that movement of God that the king himself comes to acknowledge the God of Daniel as his God.

While we may never have to face being thrown to the lions, hard times will come, and we can trust in God or we can allow the tough times to overcome us.  When you are experiencing hard times, make God your highest priority.  Build the foundation of your life on Him. Further, we don’t have to face tough times alone.  God has put people in your life in community to encourage and support you.   As Peter said in his letter in the New Testament, “humble yourselves under the mighty power of God and He will honor and bless you.”  With your trust placed firmly in God and His power to deliver, you too can survive the “lions” you face.

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  1. Have you ever felt that you have been eaten alive by your problems and hard times? What are the “lions” you face today?
  2. What can God teach you about your problems today?  How can you think about them and see them differently? 

Daniel 6; Romans 5:1-6; Psalm 23

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