Devotional

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)

There are many people who have a hard time feeling comfortable and moving forward if things are not “just so.”Even after years of experience dealing with large, medium and small hurdles, they still find it difficult to find peace when things aren’t going as planned. Their day, their mood, their energy levels can be impacted by their current status.

If you are one of those people, think about Daniel. Things were pretty good for Daniel in Jerusalem. He was of noble blood and the Bible describes him as a “strong, healthy, and good-looking young man.” Life was probably pretty good. But nothing after that time was “just so.” In fact. much like Joseph before him, things were the opposite of what he imagined them to be. But here is the thing. In the life of Daniel, we learn about seeing God and remaining faithful in all circumstances. He ran into several trying situations that could have caused him to lose faith or bend from his beliefs, but Daniel had the ability to see God in his circumstances.

But God sees us where we are — in “right” circumstances or “wrong.”  Like Daniel, God has a plan and a mission for us in our circumstances. There is no circumstance where we have not been left out of His thoughts, His grace, His love, and His plan. Daniel didn’t need to “find himself” to know God. He knew God because God found him. The same is true of us. 

We may feel trapped by our circumstances. We may feel like we have a limited future when we compare ourselves to others. We may see no escape and worse yet, we have trouble seeing God in all of this. We need to remember that our circumstances do not change how much God loves us.  Our circumstances don’t limit our salvation. What the book of Daniel teaches us is that our circumstances do not need to affect our relationship with God. It is possible to love and serve God wholeheartedly in the middle of pain and broken dreams — a life not going as planned — a world where you never find “just so.” 

The key lies in our ability to see and know God. We must see apart from our circumstances. We can see and trust His character — His faithfulness, mercy and grace — even when things are out of kilter. At the end of the day, our ability to deal with our circumstances will always depend on who He is instead of on our ability to change our situation or gut it out.

If you can’t see God in your circumstances today, the story of Daniel will lift your thoughts about God. Because in the Bible there is no better consistent and sustained example of the many-sided reality of God’s sovereignty in the whole Bible. When you read the story of Daniel, you begin to realize that how we see God, our thoughts and perceptions of God are too small. Or if it seems difficult to rest in God in our crazy world, our hearts need to be drawn to the knowledge of the God of Daniel.

God is big enough for any circumstances, if we just see Him for who He is.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you see God in your day to day activities?
  2. “It isn’t a matter of achieving God’s presence, but surrendering to God’s presence that is already within the Christian.” Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not?
  3. What can you do this week to better see God in your circumstances?