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Being a Christian in 2006 is hard at times. There is so much temptation to do the wrong thing and rarely any influence to do good. I can apply the knowledge I learned from the book of Daniel to many aspects of my life. As a parent, especially a single parent, I can instill in my daughter values and importance of being obedient not only to me but to a power much greater. I can read these amazing stories to her and help her resolve the issues she has of being a young person today. I can teach her that Daniel, Shadrach, Mescach, and Abednego went through peer pressure just like her and they stayed true to God and He protected them and kept them safe. I can teach her the lessons of being materialistic, prideful, and controlling, by sharing with her the story of King Nebuchadnezzar. The lists of lessons in this book are countless that I can teach her.
I can apply the knowledge of this book to everything in my life since this is a book about faith and trust and in God. Reading this story has reinforced that I should never doubt God. This book has made me really see that God is in control of everything. The things He puts me through, whether good or bad, are just a small part of the overall picture. This has allowed me to have a sense of peace and joy in my life that I did not have before. By turning my will over to Him, He will protect me even through the worst of times and even if it is my time to go, I am at peace knowing where I am going. Daniel had so many trials in his life. From the time Daniel was a young man he was taken away from everything he knew. He was stripped of his identity and given a new name. He was told what to do and what to eat. He had to leave his family and his culture behind.
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I compare the trials I go through and have gone through in the past to Daniel's life and it does not compare. Yes, I go through hard times; finances are a mess, being a single parent, and everyday demands of life. I have lost both of my parents and it is scary and lonely at times, but nothing I have been through has come close to Daniel's struggles. Daniel is an inspiration that even through the times that seem unbearable, it is never right to turn away from God. Even through the worst of times I will always turn to the Creator and thank Him for just giving me life. Every time Daniel went through turmoil, God blessed him in the end and he was advanced in position and in his life. God kept taking him higher and higher. I believe God used Daniel and his undying faith to bring more people to believe and I have learned how important it is to display my faith and trust as well, so others will come to believe in God's love.
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego have taught me that being one person can change the world. These four young men have probably inspired countless amounts of people and they lived almost 3000 years ago. I have great power over others without even knowing, just like Daniel and his friends.
I think about my life as being Daniel; living in a world where most people do not believe as I do. They worship other gods and material possessions. They are out to get you or manipulate you in some way. The people around me are consumed with money, sex, fame, power, and insecurities just like Daniel and his friends. I can not even turn on the TV without being influenced by worldly values. I am in the fiery furnace and the lion's den with hungry lions every day when I wake up in this world. I live a life around very few believers and they look at me differently. They talk about me. They judge me. Even my own family does not understand my beliefs. I have learned that I too can be Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. It is only through my obedience that my faith is demonstrated. If I continue to be obedient to God in everything I do and everywhere I go, He will protect me and bless me. This book has taught me the importance of humility, serenity, and obedience. I have learned the true power of God. He is in complete control.
I look at the world around me and so much can be learned from this story of faith. I feel for the men and women serving in the war. I feel for their loved ones as well. They are far away from their homes and their culture and they have no idea what is going to happen to them next. I pray that they would open the book of Daniel and receive His message that if they believe and stay strong in their faith in God, just like Daniel, they will make it home safe. They will know that God has already worked it out. They can put their head down at night with peace.
I look at my clients that I work with every day and they try so hard not to pick up a drink or a drug but if they had just an once of the faith and trust that Daniel had, they would surrender. If they can only see that doing things their way does not work and that only God can lead them into recovery, they can live at peace.
Reading the book of Daniel has been a far greater experience than I had hoped or expected. I can walk away and apply this knowledge and understanding of God to my life with a broader understanding. This has deepened my faith and understandings of God's will for my life and given me the tools to apply it. It has changed the way I live my life and look at the world.
The Holy Bible; New Living Translation