then daniel went to his house and made the matter known to hananiah, mishael, and azariah, his companions, 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. then the mystery was revealed to daniel in a vision of the night. [daniel 2:17-19a]
what should be our response when faced with difficult news?
we are steeped in a culture marked by anxiety, fear, depression and worry–our hope is in our status, our bank accounts, our health, our relationships and our perceived ‘identity’. it doesn’t have to be this way–we sometimes believe that the pages of scripture read like a fairy tale, but daniel and his companions were flesh and bone, teenagers with real doubts and emotions who were placed in a precarious situation by their (and our same) sovereign God–but this how daniel responded when he was pressed: he “…told them to seek mercy from God concerning this mystery…’
we think more highly of ourselves and our ability to control situations than we ought–instead of our first reaction in difficulty to seek mercy from God who is all powerful, we fret pridefully, complaining, manipulating, and maneuvering to get out of any discomfort. maybe your difficult circumstances are a consequence of your sin, or maybe they are designed to show you your limitations:
humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you [i peter 5:6]
regardless of the reason for our circumstances we are faced with this simple fact: all the designs of God are for the good of the elect sons and daughters of God–he cares for you.
and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose [romans 8:28]
all things work together for good. tragic things. painful things. all things.
so brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge that we belong to a good and merciful God, and seek mercy from him and cast anxieties on him in our time of need–which is all the time!