Jessica Stafford, Director of Children’s Ministry and Rev. Trevor Johnston, Associate Pastor
Week 4: Dare to Be Brave
Family Discussion Questions:
- Re-read or re-tell the story of Daniel and the lion’s den, then talk about it. Use the questions below as a guide:
- Why did Daniel get thrown into the lion’s den?
- How do you think he felt?
- When have you been scared before?
- What steps can we take as a family to build or exercise our brave muscle?
- Where is God asking each of us to be brave?
Small Group Discussion Questions
1. 2 Peter 1:4 (Kids’ version): He has also given us his very great and valuable promises. He did it so you could share in his nature.
2. Try to recite 2 Peter 1:4 from memory: Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Through the story of Daniel and his friends in exile, we’ve been reminded of these promises:
- Daniel 1—God promises to take care of you. (God blesses and uses our obedience.)
- Daniel 2—God promises to use you. (God reveals things to those who seek Him).
- Daniel 3—God promises to be with you. (God is always with you).
- Daniel 6—God wants to make you brave.
3. We continue the story in Daniel 6: 1-28:
1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; 2 and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. 4 So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”
6 So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! 7 All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.” 9 Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.
10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. 11 Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12 And they went before the king, and spoke concerning the king’s decree: “Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?”
The king answered and said, “The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.”
13 So they answered and said before the king, “That Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah, does not show due regard for you, O king, or for the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”
14 And the king, when he heard these words, was greatly displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him.
15 Then these men approached the king, and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is the law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed.”
16 So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.”
17 Then a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signets of his lords, that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be changed. 18 Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him.
19 Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”
21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”
23 Now the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.
24 And the king gave the command, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions—them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.
25 Then King Darius wrote:
To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:
Peace be multiplied to you.
26 I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.
For He is the living God,
And steadfast forever;
His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed,
And His dominion shall endure to the end.
27 He delivers and rescues,
And He works signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth,
Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
4. You may have been surprised to learn that Daniel was probably in his 80s when this happened. This shows that God wants to use us no matter how old we are. Why do elderly people sometimes feel like they can no longer be used by God?
5. What would you say to an elderly person who thinks they no longer have a role to play in God’s Kingdom?
6. Society’s concept of bravery suggests that there is no fear in the midst of challenging, unfamiliar, or scary circumstances. Do you agree or disagree with this characterization? Why or why not?
Building Our Brave Muscle
7. Many heroes of the faith did not develop bravery overnight. In 1 Chronicles 28:20a, David encourages Solomon, his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work.” What do you learn from this verse about how we develop courage?
8. How can this encouragement change our perspective on challenges or difficulties we face in seeking to follow the Lord and do His work?
9. Pray regularly. In Daniel 6, we learn that he prayed regularly. Why is prayer an important component of building our “brave muscle”? What might keep a person from praying or asking God for help?
10. Live a life of integrity. We learned that by this point in the story, Daniel was in his 80s, had risen through the ranks, and was serving under his third king, King Darius. Daniel 6:3-4 says, “Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm…they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him.”What is meant by the phrase, “an excellent spirit”?
11. Live faith openly. What are some ways that we can openly live our faith?
12. Exercise our brave muscle. Often being brave is about doing the next right thing. What are some tools or practices that can help us make decisions and choices that will strengthen our “brave muscle”?
13. Challenge our brave muscle. In Acts 4:29, the apostles did not ask for safety, but prayed, “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” What are some areas of life where you would like more boldness?
14. We’re not recommending doing something dangerous. But what if God asks you to step into something that’s hard, that might mess with your comfort level? How would you respond?
15. God could have chosen to keep Daniel from having to spend the night in the lions’ den. But the way this worked out required Daniel to go through a very uncomfortable night. What are some uncomfortable things that you sense God might want you to do?
16. Pray the below prayer from Sir Francis Drake out loud together as a group and then talk about it. What is the point behind this prayer?
“Disturb us, O Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves, when our dreams come true because we dream too little; when we have arrived in safety because we have sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, O Lord, when with the abundance of the things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the water of life; when having fallen in love with time, we have ceased to dream of eternity, and in our efforts to build the new earth, have allowed our vision of the new heaven to grow dim. Stir us, O Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms shall show thy mastery and, when losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes and invited the brave to follow, even the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord.”