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Faithful in the Hard Times – Day 3

By January 17, 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 107:4-9
Some wandered in the desolate wilderness,
finding no way to a city where they could live.
5 They were hungry and thirsty;
their spirits failed within them.
6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
he rescued them from their distress.
7 He led them by the right path
to go to a city where they could live.
8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his faithful love
and his wondrous works for all humanity.
9 For he has satisfied the thirsty
and filled the hungry with good things.
Read the Entire Psalm

Then they cried out to the Lord. In difficulty, turning to God can be the hardest thing to do. God could have stopped this difficulty so I don’t want to talk to him. These feelings and thoughts are normal, but not justified. God is near. In times of trouble we can turn to him. Thank him now that you can always turn to him.

Daniel 2:1-20 – New Living Translation
2 One night during the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had such disturbing dreams that he couldn’t sleep. 2 He called in his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers, and he demanded that they tell him what he had dreamed. As they stood before the king, 3 he said, “I have had a dream that deeply troubles me, and I must know what it means.”

4 Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic, “Long live the king! Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.”

5 But the king said to the astrologers, “I am serious about this. If you don’t tell me what my dream was and what it means, you will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be turned into heaps of rubble! 6 But if you tell me what I dreamed and what the dream means, I will give you many wonderful gifts and honors. Just tell me the dream and what it means!”

7 They said again, “Please, Your Majesty. Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.”

8 The king replied, “I know what you are doing! You’re stalling for time because you know I am serious when I say, 9 ‘If you don’t tell me the dream, you are doomed.’ So you have conspired to tell me lies, hoping I will change my mind. But tell me the dream, and then I’ll know that you can tell me what it means.”

10 The astrologers replied to the king, “No one on earth can tell the king his dream! And no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer! 11 The king’s demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.”

12 The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed. 13 And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends.

14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion. 15 He asked Arioch, “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?” So Arioch told him all that had happened. 16 Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant.

17 Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened. 18 He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon. 19 That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven. 20 He said,

“Praise the name of God forever and ever,
for he has all wisdom and power.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Having God’s Ear through Prayer

  • Express thanksgiving to God.
  • 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 for those who do not know God. Ask God to help you see the lost people around you and have compassion for them. Ask God for opportunities to build trust. Ask God to give you opportunities to have gospel conversations.

Living as God’s People by applying the Bible

Scripture Reflection from the Sermon

Daniel did not flaunt his convictions. He was not angry and demanding. He did not demand to be given a different diet, he asked. He did not demand to see the King to protest his edict, he asked. He was known for his tact and wisdom. He was probably known as a man prone to win friends, not arguments. When told he must not pray, he did not call some reporters, go into the marketplace and pray as a show. He went quietly to his room, bowed before a small window that was unable to be seen into from the street below, and prayed as was his long habit to do. When given the opportunity to honor God and the king, he always took it. When given the choice to honor God or the King, he always honored God. You may be put in an either/or scenario. You may be told to choose between God and something or someone else. You must choose to honor God above all else. Be sure that this is really the choice you are being given. Be sure that you are not making what could be a both/and situation into an either/or one. Some Christians in our culture are loud, angry, and defensive. They are out to win arguments, and they are losing people. We must never choose to go along to get along; that would be wrong. We must also never choose to make a lot of noise when we could simply just be quietly faithful.