“So this Daniel enjoyed success in the reign of Darius [even] in the reign of Cyrus the Persian” (Daniel 6:28).
True success is more a matter of character than of circumstances.
By anyone’s standards Daniel was a remarkably successful man. After entering Babylon as one of King Nebuchadnezzar’s young Hebrew hostages, he quickly distinguished himself as a person of unusual character, wisdom, and devotion to his God. Within a few years Nebuchadnezzar had made him ruler over the province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men. Many years later Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Belshazzar, promoted him to third ruler in his kingdom, and later King Darius made him prime minister over the entire Medo-Persian Empire.
As successful as Daniel was, being successful in the world’s eyes was never his goal. He wanted only to be faithful to God. And because he was faithful, God honored and exalted him in Babylon. But God’s plans for Daniel extended far beyond Babylon. Daniel’s presence in Babylon opened the door for the Hebrew people to return to Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-3), and it also paved the way for the Magi’s visit to Bethlehem centuries later (Matt. 2:1-12). Those wise men heard of the Jewish Messiah through Daniel’s prophecies (Daniel 9).
God used Daniel in marvelous ways, but Daniel was just one part of a much bigger picture. Similarly, God will use you and every faithful believer in marvelous ways as He continues to paint the picture of His redemptive grace. As He does, He may exalt you in ways unimaginable, or He may use you in humble ways. In either case, you are truly successful if you remain faithful to Him and use every opportunity to its fullest for His glory.
Suggestions for Prayer
Thank the Lord for Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego and for the principles we have learned this month from their lives. Pray daily that your life, like theirs, will be characterized by godly integrity and that God will use you each day for His glory.
For Further Study
Memorize Joshua 1:8 and 1 Corinthians 4:1-2.
- What key to success did God give Joshua?
- How does the apostle Paul describe a successful servant of Christ?
- Would your friends and relatives characterize you as a truly successful person?
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997.