EMPOWERING LIVES WITH PURPOSE:
Rev. Lisa Morrison, Guest Writer
Secrets of Heaven
If we’ve been in church at all then we are most likely familiar with the stories found in the book of Daniel. We probably learned them in our Sunday school class, heard a sermon or two on them, or even sang songs about them. We’ve heard the story of Daniel thrown into the lions’ den and how his three friends were thrown into the fiery furnace.
What we might not know is that these miraculous stories take place while God’s chosen people (the Israelites) are in exile. Against their will, they were taken captive and deported to a faraway land known as Babylon. The children of Israel are devastated that God had not saved them from being captured by this foreign power and taken away from their homeland where they are being forced to worship foreign gods. Some even question God’s faithfulness to them in their dire circumstances.
Yet, what God wants them to know is that his faithfulness is not made dependent on a return to the homeland rather it is played out in the exile itself. It is played out when God saves Daniel from the mouths of the hungry lions. It is played out when God saves Daniel’s friends from the fiery furnace. Their stories reveal the faithfulness of God, and that even under fierce pressure to compromise their faith it is worth holding onto and worth enduring suffering. Why? Because God is still faithful no matter how difficult circumstances may be.
What circumstances are you facing, or have you faced where you questioned God and his faithfulness? Have you lain in the ruins of grief over a lost spouse or child or parent? Are you still single after begging God for years for a spouse? Are you financially wondering how you are going to make it to your next paycheck that doesn’t seem like it will be enough? Are you without a job or hate the job you have and it’s causing health issues?
Why should we endure under such difficult circumstances? The answer is our sufferings show us the secrets of heaven. Just like the stories in Daniel reveal to us God is able to deliver friends from death in a fiery furnace and Daniel from the lions, so too, can he deliver us from our circumstantial lion’s den and fiery furnace. He never abandons or forsakes us. He is always present and wants us to understand his faithfulness is not dependent on any circumstance we might face. It is this understanding that gives us our purpose for endurance. He is still faithful!