Day 2

Faithfulness in Babylon

from the Daniel reading plan

Daniel 1:8-21, 1 Samuel 12:24, 1 Peter 2:11-17

BY Alena Pitts

Do you ever wonder what it means to be favored by God? Or do you ever think about what it looks like to have God’s hand on your life? I thought I knew, but the longer I live the more I realize my understanding of God’s favor is expanding.

At the age of ten, God granted me the opportunity to star in a Christian film called War Room. The movie was a box-office hit and has been viewed by millions of people all over the world. Two years later, God gave me the chance to write a three-book fictional series with my mom titled Lena in the Spotlight. Those books have sold thousands of copies all over the world as well.

These were two life-changing events that gave me the privilege of traveling all over the world to tell my story and share the hope of God. Now, at sixteen, I can easily look back and call that God’s favor.

But I need to be truly transparent and honest with you. When I was asked to write on this passage in the book of Daniel, I immediately felt unequipped and unworthy because there is more to my story.

Two years ago my beautiful mother unexpectedly passed away. She was my best friend. She was with me on the movie set, in my writing, and as I traveled sharing my story. Just two days before she died, we were speaking at a mother/daughter conference together. But then she left this earth really suddenly and entered into eternity. I was devastated. It was the most painful day of my life by far, and I still carry it with me.

But would you call me crazy if I called this God’s favor on my life? I wouldn’t have said that two years ago, but now I’m beginning to understand favor a bit differently, maybe more deeply.

Think about it. Do you think Daniel wanted to leave his home country of Israel? Do you think he would have wanted to live in a land that wasn’t his, working for a king that wasn’t his, being asked to serve a god that wasn’t his? I imagine he was pretty saddened by how his life had changed so quickly. But with the blessing of time and perspective, we can see in our readings today how God’s favor was still with Daniel in all of that.

As devastating and heart-wrenching as reality can be, it can often be God’s favor. God’s favor could be anything He has done or allowed in your life in order to fulfill His ultimate purposes. And what is God’s purpose? That people would find Him in the midst of their lives, in their pain and struggle, and come to know that they are deeply loved by Him.

What if, like Daniel, God wants to use your story to help others find Jesus? What if His favor can be found in the things that feel like blessings, as well as the things that are really hard? What if He wanted to use all of your life to show up in your story and lead others home to Him? Would you choose today to view all of it as His favor, working to fulfill His good purposes?

Post Comments (128)

128 thoughts on "Faithfulness in Babylon"

  1. Lo Harnisch says:

    Daniel kept perspective in honoring God, despite his circumstances. We can learn from him in doing the same thing as we navigate life.

  2. Mikayla Bowers says:

    “As devastating and heart wrenching as reality can be, it can be God’s favor.” In EVERY season He is sovereign, faithful, and good. Praise God.

  3. Nikki Groves says:

    Today’s reading was really eye opening for me. I’ve been asking God to help me through a season of feeling spiritually “dry,” and I didn’t realize until now that He is actively doing just that. I’m currently very sick with a mouth infection that keeps me from being able to work or spend time with friends, but I have this devotional and time to lean into God’s word. What a timely reminder.

  4. Michele Tully says:

    I have definitely been able to see God’s favor in my life in hard things.

  5. Rachel Dean says:

    Thank you God for your favor in the midst of all the challenges in my life. I know for a fact this season is causing others to pray and renew their faith because of what you are doing through my family for our good and your glory.

  6. Rachel Wells says:

    It’s good to be reminded that God’s favor and goodness can remain with us even through extremely difficult times. I feel honored that the devotional author and so many of you have shared your stories of how God met you in the midst of tragedy. I had a miscarriage right at the start of the pandemic. The isolation of quarantine seemed to mirror the depth of sadness as I mourned. What got me through was knowing that Jesus walked with me in it. I still miss that baby and wish they were here, but I can also see how that time helped me experience God’s companionship through mourning. May that companionship wrap you all in a big hug today

  7. Annie LaurieAtkins says:

    Favor is anything His has done or has allowed in your life so that His ultimate purpose is fulfilled in our lives. His favor is above all.

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