An Attitude of Gratitude
Daniel 6th Chapter
1 It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule
throughout the kingdom, 2 with three administrators over
them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that
the king might not suffer loss. 3 Now Daniel so distinguished
himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities
that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At
this time, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges
against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do
so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and
neither corrupt nor negligent. 5 Finally these men said,
"We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless
it has something to do with the law of his God"
6 So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to
the king and said: "O King Darius, live forever! 7 The
royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed
that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who
prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except you, O king, shall
be thrown into the lions’ den. 8Now, O king, issue the decree
and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered in accordance with the laws
of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed." 9So
King Darius put the decree in writing. 10Now when Daniel
learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room
where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his
knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
A few years ago, the NCAA brought about new rules for college football. The
rules stated that after a player scored a touchdown, he could not perform
excessive or individual celebration. In other words, if a player or players did
an "end-zone dance" or celebrated individually after a score, a
penalty would be applied. This really set the stage for an interesting turn of
Very early into the season, after the rule was established, a young man
scored a touchdown. After scoring, he knelt in prayer, so his team was
penalized. This one event, in which one person decided to give thanks to His
God, had a huge effect on millions. At first the NCAA stood by its ruling,
stating that there could be no individual celebration. However, many believed
that the player should be able to give thanks to his God. Shortly thereafter,
sides began to prepare to take this issue to court. To make a long story short,
the case did not make it to court. Realizing that the player was well within
his constitutional rights, the NCAA backed off, and to this day, players are
allowed to give thanks after every touchdown.
What amazes me is that all of this started with an attitude of gratitude.
All this player wanted to do was give thanks and acknowledgment. And the same
applies to our text. Daniel was a man who loved God. He had a good career, and
he was about to become overseer to the entire kingdom (3rd). He also had a
moral character that had no defects (5th). Yet, there were still people out to
hinder his relationship with God. What did he do? He did basically [I like the
way the 10th verse puts it] "just as he had done before." He kept on
giving thanks three times a day. He kept on praising God just as he had done
before. He kept his attitude of gratitude.
Now when November 25th comes, the question we need to ask ourselves is,
"Am I KEEPING my attitude of gratitude?" In other words, "When
was the last time I gave thanks to God for the things He has done and is doing
for me?" Do we only give thanks for the food we eat on Thanksgiving, or do
we give thanks for McDonald’s too? Do we give thanks for that 3%, 2% or 1%
raise, or are we waiting to win it all on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"
God has blessed each of us so tremendously to get us where we are, and in light
of where we’re headed, the blessings in 2000 are going to be off the hook!!!
(I’ll share with you later).
To end we’ll say this. No matter how great or small, we should have a spirit
that is full of thanksgiving every day. We should not have to wait for it to be
accompanied by a belly full of Thanksgiving Day turkey!!