This morning I was turning my attention to the Lord, declaring my trust in His goodness, thinking about believing God and not just believing in God. Faith is being sure of what you hope for — certain of what you don’t see yet. There are things I don’t see yet, but I see God. There are things I don’t understand yet, but I know God. I understand that God is strengthening my faith muscles by stretching me to believe the unseen will be seen.

While hanging with Tiger Tank in the nursery Sunday morning at church, I heard bits and pieces of the sermon being piped through on the TV. One thing that caught my attention was our pastor’s discussion of panic. When a person gets truly panicked about something, they are so distraught that they are no longer capable of rational thought. A fight or flight sort of animalistic nature takes over. You might call it freaking out.

In prayer this morning I reflected on Daniel’s response when he was facing the fight of his life. He was a believer of God (not just a believer in God) and he was a man of prayer. And he was such a solid and upstanding chap, so marked by excellence, the only way his enemies could find fault with him was to make praying to his God illegal.

And plotting against him, in jealousy and hatred, they convinced the king to sign a decree which would do just that — make praying to anyone other than the king illegal. The punishment for getting caught praying to anyone other than the king? Being thrown into the lions’ den.

You’d think this would be the cue to freak out.


{Photo credit to our quick-witted and dear friend, Waynne Meintjes}

But what happened?

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. {Dan. 6:10}

Incredibly, Daniel didn’t freak out. Although he was in the middle of a crisis — lions looming ahead of him, not knowing how it was going to be resolved — he didn’t give up on God and stop praying (though that might’ve looked like a temporary solution to his problem). He didn’t start praying more, either. The way it’s explained, he just kept on doing what he’d already been doing, just as he’d always been doing it.

That kind of resolute consistency is just remarkable to me. I know I pray a heckuvalot more when I’m nervous, afraid of what’s going to happen, feel like I’m facing a crisis…staying on the sane side of freaking out.

What a resolute demonstration of trust in the God Daniel believed.

Sometimes we face mountains or lions, and it’s time for us to step up, step out, or make a change. But sometimes, there’s really nothing we can do to change our situation. The best demonstration of trust in God is to keep on consistently turning to Him — in the desert or on the mountaintop, through hungry times and in times when favor and providence flow.

Paul said it this way:

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” {Phil 4:11-13}

And isn’t it funny that we read that last verse and think about it as the reason we can run marathons or scale mountains? But in this context, Paul is saying,“I know how to be peaceful and content — I know how not to freak out no matter what my circumstances are. This is the power of Christ at work in me — through His strength, I can trust God in every circumstance.”

If you feel like you’re facing lions today, can I encourage you to keep trusting, lean hard into His strength, Remember His Faithfulness in times past, and remain consistent in your walk with God?

He has delivered, He does deliver, and He will deliver. Holding tightly His Word, His Truth — this keeps me believing God. He will give you a firm place to stand. He will keep you from sinking. Or freaking out.