For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ (Isaiah 41:13, NKJV)

Living for God brings us many blessings and benefits. While the Christian life does not mean a problem-free life (think the apostle Paul, for example), it does mean God walks with us through its many challenges. There may also be times when God asks us to do exceedingly difficult things in His behalf—things that would be frightening on our own. Such was the “special assignment” Daniel faced as he stood before King Nebuchadnezzar. (Read Daniel 4.)

A Difficult Message to Deliver

What if you were asked to tell the most powerful ruler of the known world that he will lose his kingdom and live like a wild beast for seven years? That’s what Daniel faced when Nebuchadnezzar asked him to interpret a troubling dream. It would not be an easy message to deliver. Even though the king wanted to know the meaning of his dream, that didn’t mean he would embrace the message—or the messenger. But Daniel did not back away from delivering God’s message, regardless of any personal consequences.

Then nothing happened for twelve long months. That would give Satan lots of time to whisper in Daniel’s ear that just maybe he had gotten the message all wrong this time. We do not always understand God’s timing, but perhaps He was allowing a period of grace to allow Nebuchadnezzar time to reflect and repent. When he did not, God brought judgment.

Nebuchadnezzar Realizes God’s Power

In verse 8, Nebuchadnezzar views Daniel’s God as just another of many deities. He recognizes Daniel’s ability to interpret his dream as coming from “the spirit of the holy gods.” But after years of living in the wild and his restoration to power, Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges God as “the King of heaven” and admits the root of his problem. “And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.” (verse 37). He recognized that God was powerful, a God of truth and judgment.

The Bible tells us of many others given special—and difficult—assignments from God. Think of Noah, Esther, Jeremiah, Haggai, and Mary (Jesus’ mother) to name a few. Yet in each case, they chose to fulfill God’s purpose rather than consider the cost to them personally.

I’m not sure what special assignment God may have for you or for me in the future. I am certain that whatever the circumstance, God will not leave us to face it alone. Matthew 10:19-20 tells us,

“But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”

Prayer: God give me the courage to fulfill whatever purpose and plan You have for me. Give me the words to speak, for it is Your message. Make my testimony true and strong so that others will recognize You as the One True God.

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Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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