Lion’s Den Survival Principles is a series designed to help Christians thrive in the often hostile world of media and entertainment. The principles from Scripture, however, can apply to every situation where you find yourself in the midst of lions!
|Dr. Larry Poland|
Waiting until the “Last Chapter” is Written
“Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language throughout the land: ‘ . . . I issue a decree that . . . people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, and he endures forever . . . . He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.’ So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”
— Daniel 6:26-28 (NIV)
You’ve seen it happen. The home team is down three touchdowns in the last quarter of play. The stands begin to empty, so that by the time the clock shows 05:00 minutes left, there are empty seats everywhere. Then, through some miracle of resurrected motivation or unexpected events, the home team comes back! With 00:14 showing on the clock, it scores the winning touchdown, and joyful pandemonium prevails!
The curses of those fans half-way home in their cars and listening on their radios are audible throughout the city. If only they had stayed until the end!
Daniel always stayed around to the end, until his God had written the last chapter, until victory emerged. He kept on believing until deliverance came. He did have one advantage. He wasn’t an American—an impatient, time-obsessed, instant-everything, quick-fix American. It was culturally more acceptable for him to persevere . . . until the final victory.
Too many believers fail to appreciate that profound Yogi Berraism, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” Things look bleak. The opposition is overwhelming. Resources are depleted. Energy to keep fighting is gone. Circumstances are all adverse. So, they give up—lose heart—in what they perceive to be “sure defeat.” They throw in the towel before the fight is really over. Then, stunningly, victory emerges from the jaws of defeat. Their God reveals Himself in power!
Survival Principle: Hang in there until God finishes His work. Leaving one second before God brings victory is catastrophic; hanging around ten years after He does is sharing in the spoils.
Suppose, after 40 years herding sheep, Moses had taken his life in despair the day before the burning bush. Suppose Judas had waited just 14 more days before deciding to betray Jesus, leaving the Romans’ with Jesus’ blood on their hands and himself a dazzled follower of the risen Christ. Suppose Daniel had slashed his wrists in panic upon being tossed into the den of lions.
Survival Principle: Difficulty is not a reliable indicator of impending defeat, because it is also the typical setting in which victory is secured.
Survival Principle: Difficulty is the environment for miracle, unless it is to be a very great miracle; then, the environment is impossibility.
Upon Daniel’s emergence from the den, the following happened: Darius issued an international decree that every subject must worship Daniel’s God (!), he composed a poetic tribute to Jehovah for all the people to hear, and he set Daniel up so securely that he “prospered” during the reign of Darius and his successor! All this occurred because Daniel was willing to wait for God. To wait for God is to wait for Good.