In a crisis, what’s our response? How do we react? How we respond at first can have perhaps the biggest impact on how a crisis is resolved.
Daniel adopted a consistent approach in the face of crises. Taken to a foreign land in his youth, he had to make a choice regarding his diet: should he take a stand that might risk everything, or try to blend in and do what his new masters want? Daniel stuck to his principles, knowing he would stand out and potentially cause offence – even when offending the king could cost him his life. However, God sees what Daniel does and blesses his decision:
‘And God gave Daniel favour and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs’ (Dan. 1:9).
We move onto Daniel’s next crisis, where the king, frustrated that nobody can recount and interpret his dreams, has taken extreme action:
‘… the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed’ (Dan. 2:12).
Daniel stuck to his principles, knowing he would stand out and potentially cause offence – even when offending the king could cost him his life.
As one of these wise men Daniel is up against it, threatened with death. His reaction? He takes the issue to God and gathers his friends to spend time in prayer. God honours this action, and when the revelation of the king’s dream is given to Daniel, his response is to give God the glory, at no point taking any credit for himself.
What about me? When faced with a crisis, what’s my first reaction? Start thinking about solutions? Work out how to move forward? What God wants is that we give the problem to him. My grandad shared a special verse with me, which shows me how I should respond in every situation:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6)
How do we do that? As illustrated by Daniel’s actions, it’s about consistency – he always entrusted everything to God and made him the priority. We need to always stay in communication with God and give him every problem.
What about me? When faced with a crisis, what’s my first reaction? Start thinking about solutions? Work out how to move forward? What God wants is that we give the problem to him.
Another key to Daniel’s handling of crises was his friends. How important it is that we have friends, but even more that we pray with them. Praying with others gives us support and helps keep us accountable. I can think of key times in my life when I have felt the need to pray with others. I can also recall times when I kept a prayer diary, which enabled me to keep track of what I was praying for; and allowed me to see God was answering, giving me more confidence in him.
Sometimes, though, we miss out on the value of Christian friends and the opportunity to share together and encourage each other. The pressure of life, work and family can make it difficult to get together as often as we want. So we need to get creative. One of the many advantages of social media is the ability to share things and create virtual opportunities to meet. Although not as good as face-to-face, a WhatsApp group or a FaceTime group call can bring friends together at any time and anywhere.
Just like Daniel, we can always take everything to God in prayer, holding nothing back. We can act on the words of Paul to obtain confidence and peace:
“…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7)
Guy Elliot, The Church of God in Crowborough