Stress vs. Rest

Stress vs. Rest
Daniel 2
 
Life question: If we believe that God is in control, then why do we sometimes feel anxious about the future?
 
"What do you lose sleep over?" or do you lose sleep over anything?
 
In our study, we'll look at a man who was losing sleep because of some troubling dreams he was having about the future.
 
Daniel 2:1-3
King Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that so troubled him he could not sleep. Anxiety overtook him, and he could not rest until he knew the meaning of this dream.
 
Disturbed, restless, and anxious, Nebuchadnezzar demanded that his wise men reveal both the dream and its interpretation.
 
Daniel 2:4-6
If the King’s men were unable to tell him his dream and the interpretation, Nebuchadnezzar declared harsh consequences would await them: “You will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be made a garbage dump (v. 5).” Nebuchadnezzar thought he was anxious, but imagine how the wise men must have felt!
 
However, rewards awaited the ones who could give the king what he wanted: “But if you make the dream and its interpretation known to me, you’ll receive gifts, a reward, and great honor from me. So make the dream and its interpretation known to me” (v. 6). The Babylonians believed the gods sent messages through dreams.
 
What are the places today people go to get relief from stress and worry?
Where do you turn when you are anxious about your future?
 
The Chaldeans said, “What the king is asking is so difficult that no one can make it known to him except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals” (v. 11). The king became so angry that he commanded that all the wise men in Babylon be executed. Not just the wise men but the wise men in training. Remember Daniel and his three Hebrew friends were in training.
 
Now, not only the King is anxious about the future, but so are the Chaldeans.
 
Daniel 2:17-23
Daniel asked Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, what was happening. After Arioch explained everything, Daniel went before the king and requested more time to interpret his dream. Daniel went to his friends—Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—and told them the situation. He told his friends to pray for God to intercede and give them knowledge and understanding of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
 
Daniel 2:24-29a
 
What are you worried about?
 
Are you anxious about your job, your family, or even the larger world around you? As Christians, we need to face the future with faith in the One who not only knows the future, but who has absolute control over future events.
 
We need to spend time in prayer voicing our concerns to God the Father.
 
Daniel 2:31-44
Daniel revealed to the king the dream and its meaning in great detail. The interpretation was not good news for King Nebuchadnezzar and his successors, for Daniel explained that each empire succeeding Nebuchadnezzar’s would be weaker than the previous.
 
For Nebuchadnezzar to learn his rule would end was bad enough, but to hear his nation would be replaced by an inferior ones added insult to injury. The point of Nebuchadnezzar's dream is that empires come and go, but God remains.
 
Christians must realize that the world’s superpowers are not here to stay; even the societies that seem to be most stable politically and economically are only temporary in God’s economy. Christians must remember that all power, even that given to leaders, comes from God. God is sovereign (in control), and He is working to bring His plan to completion.
 
After reading these verses, are you anxious about the future of the United States, the world’s current superpower?
 
Does knowing God controls history (past, present, and future) help you avoid anxiety about the future?
 
Daniel revealed to Nebuchadnezzar that God would establish another kingdom that would endure forever, one that would not be destroyed or turned over to other rulers. No human kingdom would compare.
 
After he realized he had just heard the truth, King Nebuchadnezzar fell down and paid homage to Daniel (Dan. 2:46). More importantly, he realized Daniel’s God was “indeed God of gods, Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries” because He had enabled Daniel to reveal and interpret the dream (Dan. 2:47).
 
Final Thoughts:
How can someone attack anxiety about issues that make him or her fearful?
You know that God can be trusted in matters both great and small.
You know that there is a God in heaven who is in control. (Daniel 2:28)
You know that God's wisdom is greater than man's wisdom. (Daniel 2:27)
You know that you can talk with God personally about any of your fears.
You know you can count on friends to pray for you and to help you through difficult times.
 
Read the following Scripture:
            Ps. 37:5
            Ps. 55:22
            Jer. 17:7
            Matt. 6:25-34
            Phil. 4:6-7
            1 Pet. 5:7
            Heb. 13:5
 
How are you going to respond the next time you lose sleep because of anxiety about your future?
 
If we are confident that God is in control of our future, how will it affect the way we respond to anxiety over upcoming events or decisions?
 
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16