Sometimes it can be hard to do the right thing, especially when it isn't the popular thing to do, or when everyone around you is doing something different. Sometimes Christians do things differently to other people and make different choices about how they live their lives. Can you think of anything you do that makes you different to other people around you? How does it make you feel?
Daniel knew what it felt like to do things differently to other people. There's a short summary of part of his story here, but you can find out more about Daniel and how he and his friends chose to do things differently by reading the rest of the book of Daniel in the Old Testament.
When was the last time you had to be very brave and stand up for what you believed in?
Daniel was a good man. He worked hard for the king and followed all of the rules of the land. He was so good that the king wanted to give him an even more important job to do.
Sadly lots of other important people didn't like the fact that the King was going to make Daniel more powerful. They tricked the king into making a law which would hurt Daniel. The law said that people could only worship the king for the next 30 days. Daniel knew that it was wrong to worship the king so this was one rule he chose to disobey, and he carried on praying to God.
When the king found out, was very sad because he was very fond of Daniel. But because he had made the law, it couldn't be changed, and he had to throw Daniel in the lions den. The king was very, very upset.
Even though it was hard, Daniel kept trusting in God, and God sent angels to close the lions' mouths. Daniel was safe! Horray! The next day the king changed the rules, so that now everyone had to worship God instead. He said,
“For he [God] is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.”
Today we are not going to be thrown into a lions' den for not believing in God, but sometimes it can be very hard to stand up for God like Daniel did, especially when other people around us don't believe in God.
Every time you stand up this week, ask God to help you have courage like Daniel to stand up for him. Maybe you could practise now by standing up and sitting down 5 times and asking God to give you courage like Daniel.
Dear God, please help me to have the courage to stand up for you this week, even when it is really hard. Amen.