Theme of the Week: The Key to Flourishing
Bible Verse: The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they entered the royal service. Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom. Daniel 1:19-20
Scripture Reading: Daniel 1:8-21
The fabulous four, young, renamed exiles did something extraordinary. They flourished in captivity. They were incredibly wise and capable and, as a result, recruited to serve in the royal palace of Babylon. But the pressure to give up their Jewish identity continued. They were to live and eat like Babylonians, but by doing so, they would violate the Jewish food laws found in the Torah. So, despite the risk, they decided to stand their ground with a peaceful protest and choose obedience to God.
Instead of rebelling, reacting in anger, tweeting #KingNebIsUnfair, or even rolling over and giving in, they came up with a different strategy. They issued a faith-filled challenge to their captors and put their own lives on the line by doing so. They asked for a 10-day vegetarian challenge to demonstrate a superior way and to determine their fate.
The result of the test: they were healthier than all who were on the king’s diet, they were permitted to honour their beliefs, and they were given extraordinary insight and abilities by God. Their limitations were transformed into leadership opportunities in the royal service of the king. They turned their obstacles into an opportunity.
What if the challenges we are facing today are not just limitations but occasions for us to exercise creative faith and trust in God? What if our obstacles are actually opportunities for us to flourish and for God to demonstrate his power and faithfulness? What if the trials we face today are tests to prepare us to lead others out of their limitations tomorrow?
Today, as you think of the challenges you are facing, be open to God’s creative genius to turn obstacles into opportunities for our good and for his glory!
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