My eyes fail with watching for your promise;
I ask, "When will you comfort me?"
None of the king's wise men could interpret his dream, but Daniel could. He relayed to the king the interpretation of his dream that God had revealed to him. Daniel told him,, "You will be powerful, the head of gold, but then a series of inferior kingdoms will overcome. Your kingdom will be divided then destroyed." The king was delighted. Why was he?
Daniel and his three friends were given promotions. But, when they refused to worship the golden statue that the king had erected, he had them thrown into a furnace. His anger turned to amazement when they came through the ordeal unscathed. He decreed that anyone who blasphemed their God would be destroyed.
The powerful can do a lot of harm, but God can foil their efforts. [On the other hand, God's people may be subjected to suffering. See today's reading from 1 Peter 4:12-19].
1 Peter 4:7-5:14
Not everyone will appreciate your being a Christian. Sometimes, the things you do because you are a Christian will irritate people a lot. For example, in a country that is not friendly with the U.S., Christian evangelism may be seen as an attempt undermining that country. But, besides trying to get religious people to change their religion to ours, what do Christians do that would be upsetting?
What are Christians supposed to do to be Christians? Love one another. Feed the poor. Care for the helpless. Visit prisoners. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Forgive. Pray. You can think of others.
Some groups don't like the idea of feeding the poor or making sure old people will be able to afford health care twenty years from now.
These long-ago Christians were told to humble themselves. I'm wondering how many of us Christians of today think we are still supposed to be humble. Is humble something to be desired? accepted? Wouldn't we rather have that exaltation now rather than some time in the future?
Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
A ruler who lacks understanding
is a cruel oppressor;
but one who hates unjust gain
will enjoy a long life.
Prayer for Today: Kindle within us love for each other. Open us to ways to help each other. Remind of your grace and help us to get past the shortcomings of others. Lead us through our times of pain into renewed joy. Amen.