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Faithful in the Hard Times – Day 2

By January 16, 2024Daily Devotional

Hearing God’s Voice from His Word

James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Take a moment and turn your attention to God. Tell God that you desire to trust and obey Him. Ask God to speak to you from His word.

Psalm of the Day

Psalm 76:1-6
God is known in Judah; his name is great in Israel.
2 His tent is in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion.
3 There he shatters the bow’s flaming arrows,
the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah
4 You are resplendent and majestic
coming down from the mountains of prey.
5 The brave-hearted have been plundered;
they have slipped into their final sleep.
None of the warriors was able to lift a hand.
6 At your rebuke, God of Jacob,
both chariot and horse lay still.
Read the Entire Psalm

God is great. He has no equal. No person, no being, no thing is even in the same category as him. His greatness is beyond classification. With a word he brought the world into being. With a word he brings a mighty human force to an end. He is great. Bow your head before him. He is great.

Scripture Reading
Daniel 2:1-20 – English Standard Version
2 In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his spirit was troubled, and his sleep left him. 2 Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. 3 And the king said to them, “I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.” 4 Then the Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.” 5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “The word from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. 6 But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.” 7 They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show its interpretation.” 8 The king answered and said, “I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see that the word from me is firm— 9 if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the times change. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.” 10 The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. 11 The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

12 Because of this the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. 13 So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them. 14 Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 He declared to Arioch, the king’s captain, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. 16 And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 20 Daniel answered and said:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Having God’s Ear through Prayer

  • Give thanks to God for His gifts and His goodness.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you.
  • Confess your sin to Him and receive forgiveness.
    (1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.”)
  • Bring your personal requests to God.
    (Psalm 62:8 “Pour out your heart before God”)
  • Pray for someone in your small group.
  • Join with others from River and pray today for FCA. Pray for student athletes to repent and trust in Christ.

Living as God’s People by applying the Bible

Scripture Reflection from the Sermon

Why should I always give glory to God and never give him blame? This seems “unfair.” God can’t have it both ways, can he? Yes, he can. Yes, he must. He is God. He is the Ancient of Days. He is the creator, ruler, sustainer. Everything belongs to him; it is his to do with as he chooses. We are his to do with as he chooses. He doesn’t answer to anyone. He could cause us all to cease existing even as he has caused us all to come into existence. We can shake our tiny fists at him; he has allowed that. We can also bow our hearts to him, he has allowed that as well. He could be a tyrant God, and we could do nothing about it. What if he was a fickle and changing God and we were forever guessing and trying to keep up with his whims? He is not fickle and he does not change. He is no tyrant; he is a good God. We should be so very grateful for this. He does not change; we should be so grateful for this. We should give him glory for everything, because he alone is worthy of all glory and honor and praise. We should never presume to give him blame because he blameless; all that he does is right. Start with the eternal, all powerful God, and then consider yourself and how you should respond to him. Do not start with yourself and then consider how you think God should respond to you. We must bow our hearts to him or we will be totally out of touch with reality as it is. He is God. We are his people, the works of his fingers.