Exile is the unhealable rift forced between a human being and the native place, between the self and its true home: it’s essential sadness can never be surmounted. — Edward Said

Put yourself in Daniel’s sandals for a minute.  

He was ripped from his family and homeland. He was taught paganism for three years. He was given unclean food to eat. His name was changed. And it’s likely that he and his Jewish companions were even castrated. And the reward at the end? To serve one of the most wicked men that has lived on this planet.

You might expect them to crumble right? They could fall into addictions or bitterness or anger or to just become some kind of miserable negative human beings. You might expect them to rumble. There were a lot of Israelites in bondage in Babylon, and they certainly could have tried to rebel. We certainly would expect them to grumble. But as far as we see in the text, they didn’t even vent on Facebook.

No, Daniel and his Hebrew companions chose a different path and chose to live by different expectations. Jesus encourages us to do the same.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:18-20)

At this moment a fundamental shift can take place in your mind about how you approach life in this world. Right now, will you choose to crumble, rumble, or grumble? Or will you realize that the true essence of your life is not in this world at all?

Your life is the life of Christ, and you live because He lives in you. If you choose today to let Him live through you, here in a world that is not your home, the entire story arc of your life will change in a profound and powerful way.

Oh Jesus, I wish this world and my circumstances would change. Yet I ask that You would change me today instead. Please change the expectations I have about this world, and give me a keen awareness of Your power and presence within me. May my attitude, actions, and even my words loudly proclaim today that You live in me and I live in You while we temporarily live in exile in this world that is not our home. Amen.

Taken from Pete’s series Living in Exile: God Working Behind the Scenes.