Sermon Outline – Gratitude Under Pressure

Month Of Gratitude – pt 2

Gratitude Under Pressure

Daniel 6:10-13, 19-22

Acknowledgments

Prayer

Introduction

  • There will be or already have been times when we are in situations that stretch us to the limit.
  • Those situations may call for some snap decisions that will affect us and those around us for the rest of our lives.
  • In last week’s message from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we heard how we should:
    • Rejoice
    • Pray without ceasing
    • Give thanks for everything because to do so would be in the will of God in Christ Jesus for us.
  • We heard how difficult it could be to give God thanks for everything when the pressure is on.
  • This is the second message in the Month of Gratitude series.
  • Today I want to talk to you about Daniel who made a decision to pray and give thanks, with the threat of a cruel and vicious death hanging over his head.

DANIEL – History

  • God allowed Judah to be captured by Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon around 605 B.C. because of Judah’s rebellion against God.
  • Daniel, along with Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego (the three Hebrew Boys), as well as 10,000 citizens from Judah were captured and taken to Babylon.
  • During their captivity, Daniel and the three Hebrew boys were favored by God who gave them favor with the governments of Babylon.
  • As a result of that favor, Daniel was one of three presidents appointed by Darius the king and he was preferred over the rest of the presidents because there was an excellent spirit in him. The king set Daniel over everything.
  • The other people in the government didn’t like Daniel’s elevation/promotion so they looked for a way to bring him down.
  • But they couldn’t find anything to bring against him.
  • They thought the only way to bring him down was to use his faith and worship of God against him.
  • They went to Darius the king and got him to sign a decree that stated “if anybody petitions any God or man, except the king, for thirty days, they would be thrown in the lion’s den.”
  • Daniel 6:10 – Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Daniel apparently heard about the decree and knew the king had signed it.
    • He went home, opened up his windows, knelt down, prayed, and gave thanks like he’s always done.
    • Even though Daniel knew he would be thrown in the lion’s den if he prayed and gave thanks, he didn’t deviate from his relationship with God.
    • He was quite open even under the pressure of certain death. He opened his widows!
  • Daniel 6:11-13  – Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
    11. Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12. And they went before the king, and spoke concerning the king’s decree: “Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing [is] true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.”
    • These men knew Daniel’s habitual relationship with God.
    • They now have enough to not only bring him down but get rid of him permanently – or so they thought.
    • They went to the king and told on Daniel. The king didn’t want to do it (the men trapped him with the law of the Medes and Persians) so he was obligated to honor the decree he signed and send Daniel to the lion’s den.
    • But thank God, that’s not how the story ends!
  • Daniel 6:19-22
    • The king couldn’t sleep the night Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den. And early that morning he got up and got in a hurry. In the 16th verse the king spoke these words:
      • “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.”
    • The king went and found David alive. He cried out to Daniel saying:
      • “Daniel, the servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”
    • Daniel responded Daniel was alive!
    • Darius the king had Daniel’s accusers thrown into the den of lions along with their children and their wives.
    • Darius the king had him taken out of the Lion’s den
    • But that’s not the story ends!
      • Darius made a decree that every dominion in his kingdom would tremble and fear before the God of Daniel – our God!

Conclusion

  • What I want you to do today is think about how Daniel prayed and gave thanks even when it was dangerous to do so.
  • His courage was built on his faith in God. His faith didn’t let him cave in under pressure.
    1. He opened his windows – he didn’t try to hide.
    2. The only way he could be trapped was to use his habitual relationship with God against him.
    3. He maintained his relationship under pressure, he prayed and gave thanks.
  • Before we’re challenged, go through disappoints, and have to deal with the issues of life, let’s pray today for a Daniel spirit.

Jesus

  • When we look at all Jesus went through for us, He was thankful even though He knew His death was close. He was under pressure and completed the mission He was assigned…

Prayer

Benediction

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