Standing Strong in Times of Turmoilby Daniel Lim on September 6, 2012
Standing Strong in Times of Turmoil
By Daniel Lim
In this time of great global change,
many people look at happenings around the world and conclude that the changes
are only temporary. However, a permanent shift is taking place in our lives. We
must know God, hear His voice, and be prepared to adapt to change, trusting
God’s guidance at every turn. We find inspiration from many biblical
One day, Abraham received a call from
God to leave his country and go to a land that God would show him. He obeyed the
Lord, left the life he knew in Ur of Chaldea, and set out on a pilgrimage with
no map and no itinerary. This was no temporary season, it was the beginning of a
permanent shift in the way Abraham would walk out his life before God. There was
no going back, so he had to adjust to the new life that had been handed to
In fact, from the time of Abraham to the
Babylonian captivity, the children of Israel repeatedly found themselves in
situations which required them to adapt to their new environment in order to
succeed. What had worked previously was no longer relevant; it was time to trust
In the book of Daniel, we find Daniel in difficult new conditions, when the Jewish people had been forced out of their homeland into Babylonian captivity. Born into nobility, Daniel would have expected to live in a position of authority, wealth, and influence. But circumstances changed abruptly. Daniel was taken as a slave to a foreign land, under a foreign king who had killed his parents, burned the holy temple, and destroyed his homeland. Eventually promoted to prime minister, Daniel knew that his success before God in this new life of great responsibility depended upon his resolve to serve and obey God, regardless of the cost.
Even in unfavorable circumstances, Daniel was determined to be God’s vessel and to listen for and obey the voice of the Lord. We would do well to learn from Daniel, who was willing to surrender his life of privileged nobility and look for God’s purposes in His new situation. We too can be ready to give ourselves to the new assignments that change often creates.
Many people who are over-invested and
over-committed in relationships or financial commitments are unable to
successfully navigate seasons of great change. God longs for us to make time for
intimate relationship with Him, to keep our hearts tender and open before Him.
This way, we can receive His grace to stand firm and see changing times as an
opportunity to love and serve Him in new ways. But if we remain stuck in the
glory or baggage of the past, or too busy to disengage from the commitments of
the day to seek God, we are less likely to be able to lay hold
of a new season in God.
How can we learn from Daniel and be
ready to respond with faith and trust when the circumstances of our lives
change? It is very important that we set aside regular times to pray and to grow
in the knowledge and love of God, bringing the details of our lives before
Him—our time, relationships, finances, and priorities. As we keep these before
the Lord, in loving fellowship with Him, and allow Him to prune the
non-essentials from our lives, our hearts yield and respond in greater measure
to the opportunities that God opens up to us.
In every season we are to ask the Lord what He requires of us and then wait upon Him. It is not the time to get distracted or to follow the crowd. We must be still, and know that He is God, and that He is exalted over the nations (see Ps. 46:10). He is enthroned on
high. He is ruling and reigning. He is in control. Though the Evil One is still at work in this age, God has the master plan, and we know the end of the story: Jesus will reign as the victorious King of the whole earth.
the years, I have observed that those who hear the voice of God and wait on Him
in times of great change are the ones who stand strong. They may appear foolish
by the world’s standards, but, when the time comes and things suddenly shift,
they are able to lay hold of all God has for them, while others flounder and
struggle to make changes. We must resist the temptation to live according to the
world’s definition of success, and choose to live by the Word of
As in the days of Daniel, an intense
time of turmoil, struggle, politicalwarfare, and demonic activity, God’s message
to us today is: “The people who know their God shall be strong and carry out
exploits” (Dan. 11:32).