Ten Tips For Taming Lions

Bible Book: Selected Passages 
Subject: Courage; Determination; Faith; Faithfulness; Trust

(Enduring Hardship-Daniel)

Throughout the year, high-school marching bands all over the country hold car washes, bake sales and pizza parties so they can travel to Pasadena, California, for the annual New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses. Many of the surrounding communities not only help to create the floats, but also provide hospitality to the parade marchers. A resident said, “The one thing we do not need at that time is rain! In drought-ridden Southern California, our prayers for rain go up year-round, with one exception, “Please, dear Lord, not at Tournament time!” One New Year’s Day, the drizzle started early—around 5:00 a.m.—just about the time when the floats were taking their final positions. At dawn, the sun played a game of peek-a-boo behind the clouds. It looked like rain. It felt like rain. Passing out hot chocolate and doughnuts among the assembling bands, I shivered as I saw the bare legs and thin satin costumes of the majorettes. “And what will you do if it starts to rain?” I asked one of the tuba players in a band from Alabama. He gave me a toothy grin. Then looking over his misting-up glasses, he said, “Well, Ma’am, reckon ah’ll just get wet and keep right on marching!”

How did he endure hardship? Are we like that? Well unfortunately, few people endure hardship successfully. Daniel is a positive example. Let’s see what this Bible Character can teach us about enduring hardship.


The Scripture says, “The king ordered . . . his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility—young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians” (Dan. 1:3-4a).

“Among these were some from Judah: (including) Daniel . . .” (Dan. 1:6).

“Now, it takes a lifetime of devotion and discipline to prepare us for crisis. Fortunately, Daniel was prepared. He was committed to his value system. In fact, he was an unusual young man. The Scripture said, “Daniel so distinguished himself . . . by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom” (Dan. 6:3) But life is never easy. There are always obstacles and hardships. Daniel was to face a serious problem.

In order to endure hardship we need to have self-control, good habits and moral principles. Be dedicated!


The Scripture says, “At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent” (Dan. 6:4).

We must realize that people are imperfect and egotistical. Many will be jealous of us if we receive any success or notoriety. Bad people try to destroy good people because the good people make them look worse. Solomon said, “Bloodthirsty men hate a man of integrity and seek to kill the upright. The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright” (Prov. 29:10a, 27b).

In order to endure hardships we need to be strong, independent and steadfast. Expect opposition.


The Scripture says, “Finally these men said, ‘We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.’ ‘(So they) all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions' den. So King Darius put the decree in writing” (Dan. 6:5-6, 8).

The king was being manipulated by his advisors.

Life isn’t fair. Jesus warned us about this. “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matt. 10:22).

In order to endure hardship we need to be prepared for trouble and expect attacks on our faith.


The Scripture says, “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (Dan. 6:10).

Daniel didn’t hesitate. He knew that when we start making concessions and shading the truth, it becomes easier and easier to do so. Paul said, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong” (I Cor.16:13).

The writer of Hebrews said, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23).

In order to endure hardships we need to be faithful in every case. Avoid compromise.


The Scripture says, “Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. Then they said to the king, ‘Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.’ Then the men went as a group to the king and said to him, ‘Remember, O king, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed’ ” (Dan. 6:11,13,15).

When we try to do right, we put pressure on those who do wrong. The Psalmist said, “The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, seeking their very lives” (Psa. 37:32).

In order to endure hardship, we need to be cautious and prepare for confrontation. Realize, some will try to destroy you.


The Scripture says, “When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him. ” (Dan. 6:14).

Even though the king was not a believer, Daniel’s character had impressed him. Paul said, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands . . . so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders . . .” (I Thess 4:11,12a).

In order to endure hardships we need to avoid becoming hostile and cynical. Realize some will respect you.


The Scripture says, “Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep” (Dan. 6:18).

The king was truly concerned about Daniel. It’s important to have supporters. The writer of Ecclesiastes said, “Pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecc. 4:9-10).

In order to endure hardship we need to accept help and seek support. Realize some will empathize with you.


The Scripture says, “So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: ‘Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or man except to you, O king, would be thrown into the lions' den?’ The king answered, ‘The decree stands--in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed’ ” (Dan. 6:12).

“So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions' den. The king said to Daniel, ‘May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!’ ” (Dan. 6:16).

The king couldn’t undo his mistake. Life is like that. Hard times are inevitable. Paul explains this. “We sent Timothy . . . to strengthen and encourage you in your faith so that no one would be unsettled by these trials . . .” (I Thess. 3:2-3).

In order to endure hardships we need to foresee trouble and not become complacent. Be prepared for trials.


The Scripture says, “At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions' den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?’ Daniel answered, ‘O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king’.” (Dan. 6:19-22).

Christians can hold on to hope. Peter said, “The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials . . .” (II Peter 2:9).

In order to endure hardship we need to maintain hope. Realize that your tribulations will end.


The Scripture says, “The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. At the king's command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions' den . . .” (Dan. 6:23-24a).

Truth crushed to earth will rise again. Righteousness will be vindicated. The writer of Hebrews said, “But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast” (Heb. 3:6).

John said, “Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has
overcome the world, even our faith” (I John 5:4).

In order to endure hardships we need to stay optimistic and positive. Realize that you will be victorious.


Many other Scriptures speak to the subject of hardship:

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psa. 23:4).

“A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all” (Psa. 34:19).

“When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted” (Psa. 138:3).

“But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship . . . discharge all the duties of your ministry” (II Tim. 4:5; 2:3).

“In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears” (II Sam. 22:7).

A certain family went skiing on a cold winter day. The father said, “We headed back with a sub-zero wind in our faces and no trees to break the gale force. Six-year-old Jonathan turned to me and said simply, “ I don’t want to ski that way Dad. It’s too hard.”

He was right of course, but we had to go into the wind since it was the only way home. Once we made it to the car, warmed the engine, rubbed toes and fingers back to life, and poured out some cocoa from the thermos bottle, Jonathan piped up again, “Hey, we did it!”

His sense of pride reminded me that sometimes the only way to accomplish something in life is to “head into the wind.” Daniel did that whey he prayed in opposition to the king’s decree. Jesus did that when he set his face toward Jerusalem. There will be times when we must do that if we’re to overcome obstacles and remain faithful.