Welcome back to the 3rd episode in our mini series: The Family & Culture: How to bring glory to God within our households in a hostile culture. Last week we talked about how we can learn to be BRAVE women in our current age (And why it’s so important to do so)! Today we are doing the second part of bravery: How we can take examples from Scripture to see how to be brave. Bravery is something that isn’t built into our culture. For the most part, we haven’t had to be brave in our lifetime and don’t know how to prepare the next generation for what may be coming. So let’s journey into Scripture to get bolstered up that we CAN be brave through the Holy Spirit – and how that impacts our households. Let’s dive in:
Listen to the Podcast:
You can find all the links and notes for this episode below!
Our culture is becoming increasingly hostile to Christians. I think we’ve all seen this building in the past 10-20 years but many of us have been left shocked at how quickly it has ramped up in the past 2 years. I’m raising 6 young kids in this world and as I look into the future, I can be fearful for the world that they will be handed and what it will look like for them raising my grandkids.
I know so many have felt this fear that I’ve heard time and again from women questioning if they should even have any more kids or even from young couples wondering if they should have children at all.
But we are NOT living in unprecedented times
It’s been the thing to say the past 2 years that we are living through unprecedented times. Well no, we aren’t. Plagues and pandemics are nothing new, in fact this is an extremely mild pandemic. Political strife and unrest is nothing new, in fact, it’s been far worse at many times in our own countries history. Riots and looting are nothing new, in fact, our parents and grandparents have lived through many riots in their days.
Very generation thinks they are unique, but the truth is, what we’ve been going through will hardly be a blip in history. In fact, the only reason I think anyone will read about the past 2 years in the future is how egreasgously the whole thing has been handled. I don’t downplay the loss and devestation that many have suffered the past 2 years. There has been real grief and heartache.
But because of social media especially, it can all feel a whole lot worse than it is. And is a constant presence every single second. In episode 19 we talked about how and when we should carry each other’s burdens. And in that episode, we cover a good talk on social media and how it’s caused a lot of problems for our generation.
And then in episode #15 we take a look at the Christian responses to the Black Plague, early Greco-Roman plagues, and Emperor Nero. It’s a good one if you need a dose of perspective. And in episode #16 we take it further to see how we should be looking into the future. If you need some more encouragement after this episode, dive into those two!
Now turning to Scripture
SO, today we are going to look at some brave acts in Scripture. But the real hero we are going to see, isn’t Daniel or Abraham, it’s God. Too often, we focus so much on the Bible characters. We focus on their story instead of what their story tells us about God. So let’s see how acts of bravery are actually acts of our gracious God. When we can understand that, and walk boldly knowing that God is sovereign and is making a path ahead of us and that nothing will happen outside of His will, then we can be BRAVE women and build up BRAVE families.
Learning from Daniel
“Purpose of Writing: In 605 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon had conquered Judah and deported many of its inhabitants to Babylon – Daniel included. Daniel served in the royal court of Nebuchadnezzar and several rulers who followed Nebuchadnezzar. The Book of Daniel records the actions, prophecies, and visions of the Prophet Daniel.”
Chapter 1 describes the conquest of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Along with many others, Daniel and his three friends were deported to Babylon and because of their courage and the obvious blessings of God upon them, they were “promoted” in the king’s service (Daniel 1:17-20).
Chapters 2-4 record Nebuchadnezzar having a dream that only Daniel could correctly interpret. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a great statue represented the kingdoms that would arise in the future. Nebuchadnezzar made a great statue of himself and forced everyone to worship it. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused and were miraculously spared by God despite being thrown into a fiery furnace. Nebuchadnezzar is judged by God for his pride, but later restored once he recognized and admitted God’s sovereignty.
Daniel chapter 5 records Nebuchadnezzar’s son Belshazzar misusing the items taken from the Temple in Jerusalem and receiving a message from God, written into the wall, in response. Only Daniel could interpret the writing, a message of coming judgment from God. Daniel is thrown into the lions’ den for refusing to pray to the emperor, but was miraculously spared. In chapter 7, God gave Daniel a vision of four beasts. The four beasts represented the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.” – – Got Questions
Practical application: God has a plan, and His plan is down to the intricate detail. God knows and is in control of the future. Everything that God has predicted has come true exactly as He predicted. Therefore, we should believe and trust that the things He has predicted for the future will one day occur exactly as God has declared.”
What we can learn from Daniel:
“That kind of resolution doesn’t come just as a whim. It doesn’t come overnight; it doesn’t well up in the moment of challenge. Crisis shows what’s inside of a person; it doesn’t create it as much as reveal it. And as soon as these men come up against it here, they are ready to say, No, we are not going to give in.
Do not let the distance of their time, culture, and geography blind you to the magnitude of their decision. Think of what the exiles must have been tempted to say: We’re a long way from Jerusalem. Things are different now. Times have changed. The prevailing wind is too strong for us to stand against, and resisting it won’t make any difference or do any good. We are here in Babylon, and we need to make the best success of life that we can in Babylon. Those things that our father’s insisted upon: they don’t really matter that much, do they? (Don’t think that way of thinking is confined to ancient Judean history. It is alive and well in every generation, not least in contemporary evangelicalism). – Brave by Faith
Final thoughts on bravery:
What will we choose? Fear or faith?
“We have seen more evidence of God’s grace and goodness than Daniel did. We have seen the stone arrive; we know the name of the king whom death could not hold; we can look back in history and around in our world and see how the stone became a mountain. Yet some of us have just hung up our harps. We find ourselves complaining about everything, looking back to the good old days and worrying that the church cannot survive the empire of aggressive secular post-Christendom. Too much of the public face of evangelicalism is characterized by vociferous, angry venting or panicking, rather than prayer, humble, calm, and confidence belief in a sovereign God who is in control of things.
How will we handle the onset of persecution? How will we handle the loss of our jobs on the account of our Christian faith? How will we handle the closing down of public worship? Will we hang up our harps, believing that all the good things are in the rearview mirror? Not if we remember that God is God, that God is in control, and that God’s Kingdom ultimately has no rivals.” – Brave by Faith
Links & Resources:
- Book recommendation: Brave by Faith: God-Sized Confidence in a Post-Christian World by Alistair Begg
- Book recommendation: The Household and the War for the Cosmos: Recovering a Christian Vision for the Family by C.R. Wiley
- Book recommendation: Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity by Rebekah Merkle
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