Faithlife Sermons

New Normal, Same Faith

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We have heard a lot about what is called the new normal. The reality is that Covi19 is gonna be arond for many years, probibly added to the list of continual desease untill a vaccine is found.
The whole plant has felt its impact, and we went to sleep in March on ouor old normal and we awoke on a different planet.
So we have had to come to terms with a new normal, the old ways of living are over, for now, and we must adapt to a world with different norms.
Social distanceing is tye new normal, wearing of mask is the new normal, being extra clean in our habits is the new normal, buying illigal cigarets is the new normal.
The world has changed. But Jesus has not.
Hebrews 13:8 ESV
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
How do we face this new world? These new rules, this new reality?
To answer this i want to look at the life and lessons of a biblical man who also experience a whole new world, a very different world, yet still served the same Lord.
This man id Daniel.
Daniel was born in Israel, and grew up in a normal jweish world and siocity.
Then tragedy struck and Israel was attacked and conquered by a foregn power - Babalon.
Daniel, along with his frineds were exiled into a very diferent world.
All of a sudden they were in a world that had no temple, there were no priests, no trace of te jewish faith.
The babalinians lived very different lives, they had diferent beliefs, different morals, different lifestyles, they served a false god and had a totally different world view.
David woke up to a new normal - just like we have.
But there are 2 very important events in David’s life under this new normal that are the key to his continued victory is the Lord
These lessons are ones we must learn and follow as well.

1: Daniel Refused to Coimpromise

As soon as Daniel arrived in babalon, they changed everytjhing about him even his name.
Daniel 1:1–4 ESV
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. 3 Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, 4 youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.
Daniel 1:6–7 ESV
6 Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. 7 And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.
As the babalionians began to change every thing about Daniels life and world, it would be easy to imagibe Daniel feeling defeated, and afraid.
In addition to tyheir new names, their new education and their new home, babalon also tried to give them new morals, new beliefs.
As jews Daniel lived his life by following the laws of God, but now a seemingly higher law was in place, and in this new normal, their religious morals and principlas were under stttack.
One of the most important life dedications of the jewish people were dietry laws, commnds of what they could and could not eat, all as part of God seperating his people from other nations.
But under Babalon, those rules were gone.
Daniel 1:5 ESV
5 The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king.
There is Daniel, his home is gone, his whoiloe old way of life is over, and he is given a new menua. The food that God’s people had eaten is no longer made, its no longer on the menua, its no longer the culture of where he lives.
But Daniel is a man of conviction and obedience, and even in a new world, in a new norml, he will not compromise.
Daniel 1:8 ESV
8 But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.
He would not compromise his morals or his obedience in this new normal.
My frineds, can you say the same? Many people have made this compromise, with alchohol sales banned they have made teir own, with cigaretts banned, they have gone to the black market, with restrinctions in places, normal law abiding citazins have chosen to compromise on their convictions and lower their standards.
Many chriostians have decreased or stopped praying, they have become angry and bitter. They have lashed out and taken their frustration of their families.
Pornography had seen a huge spike, porn sites are saying that their sites are seeing a massive increase in hits mnd vists.
They were fighting the good fight of faith, but when Covid nd lockdown came into the room, they abndoned those and took up a fight anainst this new enemy.
I understand. But Daniel shows us that even in the face of a new, powerful enemy we must not give up ther fight against our true enemy, which is not the lockdoen or covid, its satan.
Ephesians 6:12 ESV
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
What was the resulkt of Daniels faith?
Daniel 1:9 ESV
9 And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs,

2: Daniel maintained his devotion to God.

Eventually the babalonan king was killed and a new king, Darius was now ruler.
To cut a long story short, Darius was convinced to write a law saying that only he should be worshipped.
Daniel 6:7 ESV
7 All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.
This was of course compltly opposed to Daniels way of life, Daniel, as jew followed the 10 commandment which say:
Exodus 20:3 ESV
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
So what was Daniel to do in the face this new law?
Well Daniel manatned his devotion to God.
Daniel 6:10 ESV
10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.
Danile would not let anything stand in the way of his relationship with God.
He would not let this new normal, change his faith or his devotion. He prayed to God “as he done previosly” the bible says.
A new land, a new king, a new life, but the same faith.
Daniel had what the biblke calls steadfast faith. He maintained the course.
Steadfast faith only comes when we are tested. Daniels was tested and his devotion made his fast strong and steadfast.Right now, your faith, my faith is being tested - and if we remain faithful, this testing will produce steadfast faith.
James 1:3 ESV
3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.


How did this all turn out for Daniel? Well it was not an easy road - he faces many struggles. But in the end, Daniel may have been living in a new normal, but he had the same faith, in the same God, who blesed him.
His steadfast faith, did something amazing to his new normal.
He actually changed the new normal into the new blessing. When King darius saw that God delieved Daniel from the lions, look at his next decree:
Daniel 6:25–26 ESV
25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end.
Daniel, libing in babylon, by fiath in God, turn babylon into a kind of Jeruslam where God alone is to be worshipped.
Got can do this today. If we remain steadfast.
If we refuse to compromise.
If we contune in devotion.
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