It’s gotten to where we never know what breaking news is going to come across the radio or TV on a given day. A few weeks ago, we watched the unfolding situation with the shootings in San Bernardino, California. It’s not unusual to hear of a shooting at a mall or theater or school. Terrorism is a daily threat, not just in other countries, but right here at home. The week of Christmas, Denton Bible Church in Denton, Texas, received a bomb threat warning them not to hold Christmas Eve services. They didn’t let the threat stop them from gathering that night.

When I hear about these things, my first thought is, Lord, please come quickly. Our world seems to get worse by the day, and in all appearances, it seems like evil is winning. But we know it’s not. We know the end of the story.

We have just started studying the Book of Daniel in our women’s Bible study, using Sue Edward’s study Daniel: Discovering the Courage to Stand for Your Faith. It’s a perfect time to study this book. Daniel reminds us how the story will end and gives us principles to live by as we become “exiles” in our homeland as the world becomes more hostile toward Christianity.

So how do we stand firm in our faith in these coming days, months, and years before the Lord returns? Three things stand out to me from Daniel’s life that I need to apply in my own life.

  1. Never lose sight of pleasing God.
  2. Never lose sight of God’s sovereignty.
  3. Never lose sight of the ending. God wins!

Beth Moore, in her Bible study on Daniel, wrote this about Daniel and his three Hebrew friends: “They became culturally relevant without becoming spiritually irrelevant.”

That challenges me – being culturally relevant without becoming spiritually irrelevant. How do we do that? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. What does that look like to you?

We don’t know what the year 2016 holds for us – but God does. That’s all we need to know. Happy New Year!

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