When Troubles Come

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay in bed the fancies and the visions of my head alarmed me. So I made a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Then the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but they could not make known to me its interpretation. At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods—and I told him the dream, saying, “O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too difficult for you, tell me the visions of my dream that I saw and their interpretation. – Daniel 3:4-9

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Henry Leu Gardens | Orlando, FL | January 2018

Perhaps you’ve had those moments when things are going well, and you cringe inwardly because you just know something bad is going to happen. You realize that the good times that are rolling won’t roll on forever, or even worse: the good times are only an illusion. The chickens are going to come home to roost; you’ve made some decisions that are going to catch up with you. Perhaps you’ve leveraged yourself too much financially. Maybe you’ve over promised your boss, saying you’ll deliver the account that you’ve already lost. Possibly your failure to pay attention to your family is going to explode in your face: your marriage is falling apart before your eyes, and the kids have no desire to be part of your life.

Nebuchadnezzar was living that moment: he was at ease but something began troubling him. Ultimately a dream shook him out of his false sense of security and self-reliance. Trouble was on the horizon.

To whom does he turn? He calls Daniel, the one in whom is “the spirit of the holy gods.” He recognizes that his own wisdom, nor that of his favored court magicians, enchanters, and astrologers are not able to help him. These offer only false and fleeting comfort. He needs the truth. Even more, he needs true hope. Is there any to be found?

In those times when we rub up against the brutal realities of imminent trouble to whom can we turn? You can turn to the tricksters, hucksters, and hypers of modern-day quick-fix artists. But they will fail you. You can turn to a trusted friend, who may or may not offer the wisdom of God. Better yet, you can turn to someone who will share the truth – helping you to face the brutal facts – but who will also sare hope – pointing you to Jesus’ mercy, forgiveness, and promise of eternal salvation and abundant life.

When troubles come it is vitally important to face the brutal facts, to repent of our part in that trouble. Your part may or may not always be the primary cause; there are evil people in the world who will do the devil’s bidding to steal, kill, and destroy. But we have a Redeemer, and Advocate, an Intercessor who pleads for us before the Father in Heaven. In him is hope – no matter how brutal the facts may be. A true friend will lead you to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross…and set down at the right hand of God.

1 comment
  1. Thanks especially for these reminders from the last paragraph; directive and comforting! “When troubles come it is vitally important to face the brutal facts, to repent of our part in that trouble,” and this, “But we have a Redeemer, and Advocate, an Intercessor who pleads for us before the Father in Heaven. In him is hope – no matter how brutal the facts may be. A true friend will lead you to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross…and set down at the right hand of God.”
    Now some thoughts on the scriptures: Just as King Nebuchadnezzar continues to return to self aggrandizement apart from declaring any perceived grand nature of his gods, it seems he thinks of Daniel (Belteshazzar) as one like him – separate from his God, not recognizing that Daniel’s God is actually alive and living in Daniel (and in/among His people). This language, from verse 9, “the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too difficult for you,” is my food for this thought. The King states recognition of “this spirit of the holy god’s in Daniel but considers the unlocking of the mystery of this dream to be Daniel’s doing. Seems King “N” continues to separate them … hmmm … in essence, serving two gods, his (whatever gods) and himself. This language seems to reveal the actual conflict in him. Maybe I’m off base or splitting hairs. Verse 9 just seemed to hang on this morning and force additional thought.
    Even if I’m a bit off base, contemplating God’s Word, the gift of the Holy Spirit’s guidance and Jesus presence in it all is great treasure.

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