“I’m learning to have uncompromised faith though my friends at school might call me names. Thank you for helping me to overcome my life challenges and honor God with my life,” writes Andrea, a young girl living in Eastern Europe. She listens to the Biblically sound sermons and content available on Leading The Way‘s mobile app. Andrea longs to learn how to honor God in an ungodly society, though it may be lonely. But there is one who will never leave her side: Jesus Christ.
Read Daniel 1:1-21. The example of Andrea and her youth reminds us of another young leader in the Bible whose spiritual integrity is something to be modeled. In 605 BC, Nebuchadnezzar invaded Israel and Judah and plundered the land not only of wealth and treasures but also of people. He took those who were the most intelligent, good-looking, and athletic back with him to Babylon to be indoctrinated and qualified for service in his court.
The Babylonians wanted them to forget their uncompromising standards. They wanted them to forget their moral absolutes, their families, their faith, their redemptive history, and their God. The Bible tells us about four young people in particular who faced these difficult circumstances: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Daniel, the leader of the four, was only fourteen years old. Would they capitulate under this pressure?
Daniel led the way, taking on even the small issue of eating food offered to idols. He didn’t justify it, thinking of how influential he could be later if he gave in on this insignificant point. Daniel and his friends said no; they would abstain from even the appearance of evil. So Daniel humbly requested a trial period of going without the food sacrificed to idols. He and his young friends put their full faith in the living God, following Him at any cost and trusting in His will.
If we refuse to compromise, God’s favor will be with us. We don’t even have to ask for it. Because Daniel did not compromise with the little things, 60 years later, he and his friends were able to stand firm with the big things, too—and God delivered Daniel from the lions’ den and his friends from the fiery furnace.
Will you dare to be a Daniel? Will you, like Andrea, dare to stand alone? Though the world may reject and hate you, leaving you to stand by yourself, you can take comfort knowing that you are never truly alone. For Christ has promised: “[S]urely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Prayer: Father, grant me courage to stand on Your foundation through whatever trials may come, whether big or small. May I trust in You and be comforted with Your promises. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Those who honor me I will honor” (1 Samuel 2:30).