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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why Am I Being Persecuted When I Did the Right Thing?

If this title resonates with you, I can imagine that you’ve been frustrated with doing what was right and sticking to your convictions only to have people condemn you for it.

Good news, you are in good company! Bad news, sometimes a lion’s den is the reward for the good decisions that we make.

Daniel, chose to honor the Lord and he was thrown into a den of hungry lions. Jealous men set up a plan to get rid of him by using his love and respect for God against him.




Daniel 6:13-14
Then they said to the king, "Daniel, who is one of the exiles
from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you put in
writing. He still prays three times a day."
v.16 So the king gave the order,
and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions' den.
NIV

Have you ever been there? You stood for what was right only to have it fly back in your face and be punished for it? At this point, I start to feel defeated and wondering why God allows such things to happen.

But as we read on in the story we see exactly what God has up His proverbial sleeve!



Daniel 6:19-24
19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and
hurried to the lions' den.

20 When he came near the den, he called
to Daniel in an anguished voice, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your
God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?"

21 Daniel answered, "O king, live forever!

22 My God
sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me,
because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before
you, O king."

23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift
Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was
found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

NOW who gets the glory??? That’s right- GOD!

If the story had ended with Daniel being set free, Daniel would have been the focus and hero of the story, but the way God let it all go down, He gets the glory!

Sometimes God allows us to walk through things so that He is the One who shines the brightest, and of course that is what we want. We desire to see God lifted up and magnified in our lives but sometimes we get discouraged with the situations He uses to do that. We need to remember that “it’s all about Him- not us.”

Look what happened to those jealous men:



Daniel 6:24
At the king's command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought
in and thrown into the lions' den, along with their wives and children. And
before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed
all their bones.
NIV



The bottom line with God is that we do reap what we sow. We may not see all the reaping on this earth in our lifetime…but God is not mocked.

However, when our heart is set on Him and His glory, we will not rejoice in the punishment of others, in fact I believe we need to pray for the mercy of God to pour out on the lives of those who persecuted us.

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
NIV

Keep doing the right thing and don’t worry about who is watching, God sees it all!

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22 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

Wow, such a wonderful post.

September 2, 2009 at 3:40 AM  
Blogger A Stone Gatherer said...

Oh my goodness Sue this is just what I went through in the past couple of days! Thanks so much for this! It's scary to say, but I would do anything for God to get the glory! Thanks for every part of this post, it brightened my morning! Marching on and I will not give up!!!!!

September 2, 2009 at 5:51 AM  
Blogger Praise and Coffee said...

Amen Kim! It takes the power of God in us to not retaliate or want to defend ourselves obsessively too doesn't it?!
But God is faithful!!

September 2, 2009 at 6:14 AM  
Anonymous Sandra King said...

Here kitty, kitty
Let me pet your mane, aren't you glad I came?...
I won't fear cuz my God's right here
And He's keepin' your mouths shut tight.
Here kitty, kitty - you great big kitty - ain't gonna get a meal tonight!

I wish I could find my CD and the rest of the lyrics, but I always think of this song when I think of Daniel.

At any rate, I'm struck by the fact that Daniel didn't organize a protest or complain about his rights being violated or diss the king. He simply continued to quietly worship God and cling to his faith in spite of the likely outcome.

Did you catch that it was not just the "bad guys" who eventually became dinner? It was their wives and children, too, who reaped the consequences. There are present-day examples all around us.

Great post! The Lion of Judah reigns.

Sandy

September 2, 2009 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger Cherie said...

Awesome post Sue. Excellent words for thought and purpose!! :o)

Cherie

September 2, 2009 at 7:53 AM  
Anonymous HisFireFly said...

Thanks for the reminder. It's not about us.. it's ALL about Him. We're living for the glory of His name, not our own.

September 2, 2009 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Renda said...

This is just what I needed this morning. I just delt with this the other day. I had my family behind me and I thought we were going to solve this issue over a child in the family that was being miss treated. I went about it the right way. Getting the facts...all sides of the story...not blowing it out of the water. Then when it's go time, the main person calling the shots pulls out. Like a flip of a switch, Im made to look like a horrible person. I still sit here this morning at work wondering.. "At what point do I keep standing up only to get shoved back down."

This post was very helpful to put things back into the Godly perspective. Not the perspective of the world.

Bless you .

September 2, 2009 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Praise and Coffee said...

Renda, that can be so difficult, but God honors your faithfulness to Him and the truth.

I am reminded of this verse:
1 Peter 3:13-15
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." 15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
NIV

Blessings,
Sue

September 2, 2009 at 9:11 AM  
Anonymous tracy fox said...

I just started a blog called "BETTER THAN HAVING IT ALL". It is all about women who went on the mission of personal success only to find out it all comes up empty if you do not put GOD FIRST. Please take a look and let me know your thoughts....www.BetterThanHavingItAll.blogspot.com. I would love some feedback since all of you are Christian Women.

Thanks

Tracy Fox

September 2, 2009 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Elaine Bateman said...

Thank you for this post Sue! I needed to read this specifically this morning! What an encouragement today! I love the story of Daniel! GREAT!

September 2, 2009 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Pttyann said...

This is my third reading concerning the same circumstances and how wonderful and encouraging your post is For surely we reap if we don't give up! God's ways are so different from ours and sometimes we can't see clearly what's really going on, as with your illustration until God makes it plain.
Have a wonderful day Sandy and thanks for sharing.

September 2, 2009 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh wow, so true! You encourage me so much!

September 2, 2009 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

Sue,

Though I haven't been in a literal lion's den it can seem like it sometimes. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It really encouraged me.

September 2, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Sue,

I love this post. It is powerful and the comments the gals have left are also filled with wisdom. Thank you so much.

September 2, 2009 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Need More Words said...

Sue,
I experienced the Lion's Den last year. I did what was right but I was thrown to the lions. It was so hard to keep silent but with God's strength I was able to. Because of that God is opening doors I could not have imagined. I was not trying to get anything for myself from the situation, my silence was to keep the kingdom from being hurt.
He is Lord of all.
Diane

September 2, 2009 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger Heckety said...

Its all about God, not us.
That's what I'm taking from your writing this morning, thank you.

September 3, 2009 at 4:48 AM  
Blogger Jessica S. said...

Thank you for your post...I actually was 'de-friended' by a friend on FB today because of my Christian beliefs and was called a 'radical' with radical views--in so that she had to drop me. I know now why she dropped me (it has nothing to do with me), she's not offended by me, but she is offended by and rejecting God. I don't feel better, I just have more faith and trust in Jesus and I wished her well-that's all we can do---is to love our neighbors, even when that love is not received back.

September 3, 2009 at 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, this is Jeannee ... and I thank you for this! Yeah, it did backfire on me: I drove 800 miles (one way), a disabled woman alone in an SUV with a dog, a cell phone, and triple A, to see my two grandsons, and no one in thier family (they are being raised by thier father's side) despite knowing I was coming out that way for a month (via letter, phone call, and email) bothered to meet me halfway, send directions, make arrangements somehow, or even tell me to hang around for a week longer so I could see thier first day of school. I'm very hurt and angry. I still am, but this devotional helped me alot - thank you!

September 3, 2009 at 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Kathie Fracaro said...

great story! A blessing!

September 3, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Heather C said...

Exactly what I needed tonight, Sue. Thank you! I'm walking through what may just be the most difficult season of my life... but if it means the Lord gets the glory -- I'll do it, one foot in front of the other. May I honor Him not just in word and deed, but also with every thought. Thanks again!

September 3, 2009 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Oh Sew Good said...

To this day, He still gets the glory every time this story is told. :)

September 5, 2009 at 4:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently fely Very Led to Hook Back Up with an Old Girl-Friend in the Lord from several yrs.ago..We had parted as Friends I guess, due to "Personality Conflicts"..No matter how much I tried to Be Her Friend, it Always seemed to Back-Fire on me..Time & Time again, I would go back to the Lord & ask Why?..What am I doing?..As one would expect we ended up not hanging out for awhile..Then recently I felt a Strong Urge to Look her up again & Say "Hey" Let's try & Get Together, The Lord would want us as His Children to Do Everything Possible to Learn to Love One Another & Live Peaceably with All Men..So, We agreed & Met at my Home..Well, Not two weeks into our New Bible Study that I have here at My Home to have to Break The Ice,(So to speak)again..It starts all over again..Smart Remarks at just what-ever I comment on in our Study, Bossiness about My Home, what I NEED to be doing..So Forth!..Ok..Again I became Hurt & Dismayed, Why Lord, Is This So Painfull?..The Lord shows me that " Life is like a Big FootBall Game & we are All His Players, We Must Learn to Get Along with One Another IF we are to Ever Show & Win The World with our Love for our Lord & With One Another..So, We MUST Try Our Best to Work Out These Differences & Forgive One Another, even when things SEEM Out Of Our Control. My Friend Suggested that We Cancel & End the Whole Bible Study & Just Part as Aqaintances In The Lord, Un-Reconcilable Differences or Something like that..But~~I felt that God Wanted us to Push Forward, Press In & Move on Through Our Differences & Into His Love of LEARNING How to Love One Another, Despite Our Differences..And So~`With that said, I asked her if she would consider giving our Relationship & Study another Chance..Her responce was, WHY? Do You want to Do This?..I will not think Any Less of You If you do not Get Together with me..I just felt Very Led, By My God to answer her back with thsese 3 Words, "BECAUSE OF HIM!"..We Have to Try Harder to Try & Learn to Love Each Other, Bear One Anothers Burdens, & Be There For One Anonther..If we All keep going our Separate ways, when at The End of Life we come to Gods Heaven, Where will we all be?..Separted by such Differences or Living In Harmony & Love with Our King In Glory..God has Shown Me through this painfull lesson in life, that It's Not About Me & what I am Comfortable with..But, Rather about HIM, what he has Already Endured for me, For Us All, & Where We Are To Follow Him & His New Life in Us..To Reach The Lost, & Also Help One Another..Heaven Will Not Be Separated By Differences in Churchs, Nationalities, or Just Plain Not Liking & Getting along with one another..Yet, It will be A Glorious Place of Harmony, Love, Laughter, Praise Worship In UNITY, & Beauty..The way It Was Meant To Be, "IN THE BEGINNING"..Amen?..So,I am Most Happy to say, that We are Still On For Our Weekly Bible Study, & Our Healthy Eating & Each Other In The Lord..We are even trying to think of New & Exciting ways to get to know each other Differently & In A More Fun Way..Looking at One Another As BETTER Than OUR Own Selves..That Is The Lesson, On Gods Big Game..And Someday We shall All Play In That Big LOVE- BOWL With Him & ALL Our Brothers & Sisters In The Lord, All Over This Vast World he has Created..Thank-You Jesus for Painfull Lessons.. Praises Always To Our King, Who Teaches Us To Love As He Loves & Live As He Lives..Just wanted to Share That Story, just in case anyone needed to hear it today..In Jesus Love & Service As Always..Gods-Woman +

September 16, 2009 at 10:49 AM  

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