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Daniel 6:1-28

THE POWER OF A CONSISTENT FAITH

Intro: They are known as the forty martyrs of Sebaste. In the famed Twelfth Legion of Rome's Imperial Army there were forty soldiers who professed their faith in Jesus Christ. One day their captain informed them that Emperor Licinius had sent out an edict commanding all soldiers to offer a sacrifice to pagan gods. These Christian warriors said, "You can have our armor and even our bodies, but our hearts' allegiance belongs to Jesus Christ."

Because of their stance they were marched onto a frozen lake in the midwinter of A.D. 320 and stripped of their clothes. At any time they could renounce Christ and be spared from death. Instead, they huddled close together and sang their song of victory, "Forty martyrs for Christ." That freezing night saw thirty nine men fall to their icy graves. When there was but one man left he stumbled to the shore and renounced Christ. As the officer in charge of guarding these men listened to their singing, he had secretly come to believe in Christ. He immediately replaced the man who had renounced Jesus and he walked out onto the ice. He threw off his clothes and confessed his faith in Christ. At sunrise the Roman soldiers found forty men who gave their all for the cause of Christ.

Those forty brave men demonstrated a faith that was consistent. So does the man featured in our text. Daniel was a man who possessed a consistent faith. Daniel is a man who lived this kind of consistent live all the days he lived. As a young man he was separated, Dan. 1. As a middle aged man, he was sold out, Dan. 5. Even as an older man, he was surrendered, Dan. 6. As we watch Daniel face and weather this great trial of faith, there are just a few lessons I would like to point out concerning the power of a consistent faith.

What we can learn from Daniel teaches us that it is consistency that pays off. Friend, it isn’t all about how you start the race, though that is very important, or about how you finish, though that is also important. God is interested in our running faithfully all the way, Heb. 12:1-3. There is power in a consistent faith. Allow me to point out the lessons contained here.

 

I. A CONSISTENT FAITH WILL BE TESTED

(Ill. The context. Ill. 2 Tim. 3:12 - This is a verse that is absolutely true! If you choose to live your life for Jesus, holding nothing back, persecution will come your way! But, this is not a bad thing! Notice what is accomplished when faith is put to the test.)

A. V. 3 The Saint Is Cultivated - Daniel was already a great man, God wanted to develop him even further. Your trials are never meant to destroy you, only to grow you! (Rom. 8:28; Jer. 29:11)

B. V. 25-28 The Savior Is Celebrated - Because of Daniel’s trial, God received glory and honor! As the trials of life come against us and we stand faithful in spite of the trial, God is honored by the faith of His people. (Ill. 1 Cor. 10:31) (Ill. 3 Hebrews, David and Goliath; Stephen; Paul)

C. V. 4-5 The Sinner Is Convicted - These men were disturbed by Daniel’s faith. They knew that he possessed something that they did not have. As the world watches a believer walk through the lion’s den, they can see faith at work. Truly, it touches their hearts. (Matt. 5:16; Ill. Believers are living epistles - 2 Cor. 3:2) Don’t think for a minute that the world does not see your peace, your actions and the help you are receiving from the Lord!

 

II. A CONSISTENT FAITH WILL TESTIFY

(Ill. Sometimes the testimony of faith under trial is louder than a testimony of words.)

A. V. 10-11 It Testifies To Its Foes - Daniel did not alter his ways, even to appease the king. He remained consistent in spite of the danger, the pressure to conform and even the command of the king. God give us saints who will take their stand for the Lord and will be faithful and consistent in spite of what they face in life, 1 Cor. 15:58. (Ill. When you stand for Him, He will stand with you, Psa. 55:22.)

B. V. 14-20 It Testifies To Its Friends - Daniel’s faith had made an impact on the king. Even he believed that the Lord could get Daniel through the trial. When faith is exercised faithfully and consistently, it has the power to move those who know us to consider the Lord for themselves! (Ill. When consistent faith is practiced, it encourages others to be more consistent in their own faith. Our faith can help our brother grow! (Ill. Acts 28:15 - Paul’s friends exercised faith and encouraged Paul.)

C. V. 10 It Testifies To Its Focus - Daniel stayed the course for God knowing that he had no one to please but God. When a person walks faithfully with the Lord in spite of the problems and temptations that surround him, he makes a bold statement about where the focus of his life really is. The believer who possesses a consistent faith does not try to live to please everyone; he just lives to please God. His primary concern in the glory of God, 1 Cor. 10:31. God has a way of working the rest out!

 

III. A CONSISTENT FAITH WILL TRIUMPH

(Ill. The Context. Daniel’s faith gave him the victory, and your faith will do the same for you, 1 John 5:4; 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14.)

A. Over Every Adversity - Daniel’s faith in God allowed him to enjoy victory over the Den of Lions, the Danger, the Dark, King Darius, his Detractors, and even over Daniel. His faith carried him through the trial. Daniel learned what every saint can learn: God will either get you out of your trial, or He will give you grace in your trial! (Ill. What He doesn’t take away, He makes a way to take!) (Ill. Faith can still part your sea, fill your barrel, walk on your storm, and multiply your loaves and fishes. Faith still guarantees the victory for the child of God - “all things are possible to him that believeth, Mark 9:23.)

B. Over Every Adversary - Daniel’s faith enabled him to see the lions lose their lunch and his enemies lose their lives. He saw every adversary defeated! One day, the saints of God will see the enemies of the faith fall away one by one. Then, we see will the truth that our faith conquers all things! (Ill. The World, 2 Pet. 3:7-10, the Flesh, 1 Cor. 15:49-54, and the Devil, Rev. 20:1-10, will all be dealt with in due course.)

 

Conc: Craig Davison is a consistent man. The Phoenix, AZ resident began running regularly in 1978 and hadn’t missed a single day since then when an article was written about him in 1997. By May of 1997, at age forty-three, he calculated he had logged in 120,000 miles (nearly five laps around the world). His regimen of running is an example of consistency by itself, but what he’s done traveling all of those miles is an equally impressive lesson in consistency. While running, Davison keeps his eyes open for loose change and doesn’t pass up a single penny. This consistent vigilance has paid off. Over the years he has collected $5,170. All those dimes, nickels, and pennies paid for a second honeymoon to Hawaii in 1991.

Consistency pays off but we frequently neglect it because the dividends come in slower than we desire. We’d all like to find $5,000 but are we willing to run 120,000 miles to get it? Whether it’s finances, meaningful relationships, spiritual maturity, or physical fitness, consistency is the best route to take.

We need some Daniels in our day! We need some men and women of faith who will make up their minds to just be consistent! Are you a consistent Christian? Do you live every day to the glory of God? God just wants people to be consistent. He just wants us to walk in obedience, minute by minute and day by day. Does that describe you? If not, there is help in Him. If you are up and down and in and out, you don’t have to be! You can walk for Him and be consistent. He will enable you, just as He enabled Daniel! He will do it so that you can demonstrate the power of a consistent life.

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