February 14 - Message Update

God, the Power of Faith” – Daniel 2:14-19, 46-49 – Pastor Brian

Faith in the power of God unleashes His blessings.

How does faith in the power of God bless us?

 

God’s love is so powerful it is often beyond our understanding.  He works in mysterious ways to bring people to Himself.  In the book of Daniel, we see the mysterious ways God moves.  Even in this present day, God draws people to Himself in ways that cannot be explained.  We’ll look at the faith of Daniel to learn about how faith in the power of God unleashes His blessings.” What are these blessings?  How does God bless us? 

 

Our scripture begins with verse 14 so let me summarize verses 1-13 first. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon has conquered Israel and taken captives.  During the second year of his reign, King Nebuchadnezzar has a troubling dream.  This dream bothers him so deeply he cannot sleep and asks all the spiritual leaders of his kingdom to tell him the dream and interpret it.  These sorcerers and magicians could not tell him the dream nor interpret it so the king decrees all these wise men to be killed. Included in this group was Daniel and his three friends.  It is at this point we begin to answer How does faith in the power of God bless us?

 

1) Faith in the power of God EMPOWERS His people to live courageously.  (vv.14-16) By faith in the power of God, God’s people are given an extra measure of strength to live courageously in our doubts and worries.  People of God are equipped by “God, the Power of Faith,” to live fearlessly when faced with adversity as 2 Timothy 1:7 proclaims, For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” When we live by faith in the power of God we can live without fear because God is more powerful than any fears we may encounter.  

 

Daniel is empowered to be courageous both physically and spiritually.  Physically, Daniel had enough faith in God to boldly approach Arioch, the king’s captain of the king’s guard who was assigned the task of killing all the spiritual leaders who could not interpret the dream.  Daniel then had faith to approach King Nebuchadnezzar, who could sentence a person to death just because he felt like it.  Even so, Daniel had the courage to ask for more time when the king had just decreed men in Daniel’s position be killed because they wanted more time to interpret the king’s dream. 

 

Daniel experienced the power of God over the power of man. He was moved by the faith in God’s might to approach both Arioch and King Nebuchadnezzar who had authority over his life.  Daniel’s life was on the line but he was emboldened by his previous experiences with God’s strength. Whether or not he lived or died, he entrusted his life to the God of gods and Lord of kings. 

 

Spiritually, Daniel had faith in the God of Israel to be stronger than the gods of Babylon to reveal and interpret the king’s dream. Faith in the power of God empowers His people to live courageously, to believe and trust in the authority of God over the authority and governments of the world. When we live by faith in the power of God, we can live without fear because God is more powerful than any fears we may encounter.  

 

In Daniel’s life, we see a wonderful example of how faith in the power of God empowered him to face his doubts and fears while living under an oppressive and abusive kingdom far worse than our present condition.  Shouldn’t we, in the same way seek the faith that will empower us to rest in the stability of our Mighty God rather than be overcome with the doubts and fears of today’s unstable environment? 

 

Living by faith in the power of God empowers us to live courageously, not fearfully in the midst of rebellion occurring in our country. Living by faith in the power of God empowers us to live courageously, not fearfully when we see violent attacks upon the elderly in our communities. Living by faith in the power of God empowers us to live courageously, not fearfully even in the middle of the chaos of COVID. Faith in the power of God empowers us to live courageously by faith, not fear. Faith in the power of God gives us the courage to stand strong against our fears. 

 

2) Faith in the power of God ENERGIZES His people to pray boldly. (vv.17-19) Faith in God’s power motivates His people to pray with boldness and confidence. For followers of Christ, there is a passion that will rise when the power of faith is tapped.  It is faith in the character of God that drives Christians to seek His compassion, mercy and help in times of need.

 

Not until after asking for prayer did God mercifully reveal the mystery of the dream to Daniel.  Through revealing and interpreting the king’s dream, God saved the lives of Daniel and his friends.  Daniel’s faith in the power of God was energized to pray boldly by God’s intervention previously.  Remember from the first chapter of Daniel how God saved them?  Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah refused to eat foods offered to the gods of Babylon and were blessed by the God of Israel.  God’s past faithfulness energizes Daniel to pray and ask for God’s mercy to help and once again, God comes through.

 

The power of faith energizes God’s people to seek His compassion and mercy through the prayers of family and friends. Faith’s power gives followers of Christ the motivation to turn to God and trust in Him no matter the end result. We have learned of two blessings that God unleashes when we have faith in God.  He empowers us to have courage and energizes to pray boldly.  The final blessing is that…

 

3) Faith in the power of God ENCOURAGES His people to live faithfully. When a person’s spiritual eyes are first opened by faith to the wonder, love and power of God through Jesus, it marks the beginning of an eternal journey with our Creator. God does not leave us alone.  He walks by our side, encouraging us every step of the way to mature in the power of faith. God knows that faith in His power leads to unimagined and fulfilling life experiences. It’s a wonderful cycle of faith. 

Faith in the power of God encourages us to be faithful, which in turn helps us to have faith in the power of God. (vv.46-49)

 

Nebuchadnezzar’s response to the revelation of his dream by Daniel signifies a recognition of the Lord of kings but not conversion to the God of gods! How sad that though people recognize and even acknowledge the might of God, they will not believe in or personally receive Jesus as God’s gift.  King Nebuchadnezzar’s confession - surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries” (v.47) shows that he was open-minded enough to willingly make an offering to any god who would help him. Faith in the power of God encouraged Daniel to remain unimpressed by the accolades of the king even when King Nebuchadnezzar gave Daniel a high office and many gifts. Daniel was not moved by the rewards of the king but remained faithful to the Lord of kings.

 

Daniel is a true story of the impact of one man whose faith in the power of God, challenged and changed the heart of a king. Who knows what God has in mind for all who have faith in the power of God through Jesus? Could it be that He is encouraging you to remain faithful in the strength of God by living out His command to love as He loves you?  Including those who are different than you. Those who are of different cultures, political parties, lifestyles or religions.              

 

Daniel is a wonderful example of a person who lived out his faith in the power of God. He lived with the various complications like we have today, yet he remained committed, dedicated and faithful in the power of God. Daniel was a man of huge influence yet he remained humble because he knew it was faith in the power of God and not in himself that would change the world.

 

The power of faith unleashes blessings of God to be empowered, energized, and encouraged. Faith in the power of God blesses God’s people by EMPOWERING, ENERGIZING and ENCOURAGING us to live faithfully, not fearfully despite the realities of our hardships.  Faith in the power of God and His Word gives us boldness to consider the good things in life while facing adversity as Philippians 4:8 instructs us, Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  Paul wrote these words to the Philippians during very trying and troublesome circumstances and in his final words to them he says, “think about these things,” the things that are honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise.  These words are just as challenging now as they were then. Yet faith in the power of God gives us the strength to be brave enough to see the good of God in every circumstance. It’s not easy, but belief in the promise of God to make all things good for those who love Him is a promise we hold onto by faith in His power.

 

Praise Songs:

King of Kings, Jesus Paid It All, The Wonderful Cross, Cornerstone, Doxology