Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances. — Victor Frankl, Austrian Holocaust Survivor
How was it that Daniel and his friends thrived in the midst of exile? Certainly it was a huge step when they drew the line and they stood their ground about moral issues they could not compromise. They said “no”, which is great, but the source of their success goes deeper than the simple act of refusing to comply. The perspective and the strength they needed to play this out came from backstage. God Himself was directing and empowering them every step of the way. In the first chapter alone, we see four things that God gave them:
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. (Daniel 1:1-2)
Like it or not, God was the one who gave them the exile. God gives us our versions of exile, too.
Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel. (Daniel 1:9)
In the hardship, God provided through external sources, things they needed.
To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds… (Daniel 1:17)
God also gave them the inner wisdom, strength and skills they needed.
In the end, God also gave them miracles. Though their diet was reduced to near nothing, God kept them healthy. Though they were eventually thrown into a pit of lions, God miraculously protected them. And in the midst of horrible circumstances, God gave Daniel and his friends the willingness and ability to choose to obey and thrive. That might be the biggest miracle of all.
Jehovah Jirah, Your Word says that You are the provider of all things. You clearly gave Daniel and his friends what they needed in the circumstances You put them in to bless them. By faith, I trust in You to provide all that I need to survive in the circumstances I am in today. And I depend on You and the power of Your Spirit in me to give me the perspective and the attitude that I need to thrive. Amen.
Taken from Pete’s series Living in Exile: God Working Behind the Scenes.