The following mini-study is intended to familiarize you with Pastor Chuck’s method of Bible study and provide an opportunity to study the passage yourself.
“The essential quality, the one ingredient that must be part of any life that aims to be godly is integrity.” —Pastor Charles R. Swindoll
Adversity can sweep over our lives like the howling winds of a winter cyclone. We may experience a financial setback, loss of employment, or serious family conflicts.
One biblical figure encountered the fiercest storms, but his 80-plus years of walking with God taught him that upholding an unshakable integrity is the best way to get through adversity. His name is Daniel. The integrity of our faith and character is what truly keeps us standing amid life’s storms, just as it did for Daniel.
Prepare Your Heart
Take a few moments to quiet your spirit and invite the Lord to minister to you through His Word. Write your prayer out if you wish.
Turn to the Scriptures
Turn to Daniel 6 in the Old Testament.
Observation: A Biblical Model of Integrity
We start by observing the passage, looking for answers to the questions who, when, where, and what. Who are the characters introduced in Daniel 1:1–3 and how does the text describe Daniel?
According to Daniel 6:4–5, what do the jealous “administrators and high officials” first do to bring down Daniel and stop him from becoming Darius’ top official?
When that strategy failed, what scheme did Daniel’s enemies try next, according to Daniel 6:6–9? Observe their words carefully. What half-truths and manipulations do you see?
What ungodly character qualities did these men display?
What godly character qualities do you see in Daniel, according to Daniel 6:10? Don’t miss key lines that give hints to Daniel’s integrity, such as, “as usual” and “just as he had always done.”
Interpretation: What Integrity Is and Isn’t
In the interpretation phase, we seek to understand the meaning of Daniel’s example of integrity. How does the English dictionary define integrity?
A person of integrity lives a life of complete truthfulness because there are no gaps of sin to hide. Their character is solid and whole. Daniel certainly wasn’t sinless. However, people with integrity don’t try to smooth things over when they sin. Instead, how do people of integrity handle their failures, particularly when their failures hurt someone else?
Carefully review what you observed in Daniel 6:1–10 and write one principle based on the qualities you see in Daniel’s life. For example, “When adversity strikes, we should...by....”
Correlation: Supporting Passages on Integrity
Correlation includes exploring other passages in Scripture that clarify or expand upon the teaching in our main passage. Look up the following verses and write down what they say about integrity. (Psalm 78:70–72; Proverbs 10:9; 11:3; 20:6–7)
Daniel’s stability through adversity reminds us of Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:24–25. How does Daniel represent the kind of person Jesus had in mind?
Unlike Daniel, we can stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and His words to stabilize us in the fiercest storm. How did the winds of opposition surge to gale force and how did Daniel stand strong, according to Daniel 6:11–23?
Who was with Daniel in the lion’s den? Who promised to be with you through any storm, according to Matthew 28:18–20?
“It’s always amazing to me that Daniel didn’t wind up in the lion’s den because he did something wrong. He was there because he did things right. He wasn’t worried about those envious men. He answered to his God. We’re not called to please people; we’re called to live our lives before an audience of One.” —Pastor Chuck Swindoll
Application: Integrity through Adversity in Our Day
The final step of Searching the Scriptures is to incorporate into our lives the truths we’ve learned. Following Daniel’s example, what does walking with integrity in times of adversity look like today? Twenty-first-century Daniels...
- Speak the truth
- Don’t live a double life
- Model personal purity
- Refuse to participate in corruption
As you reflect on the spheres of your life—your personal life, family life, work life, community life, church life—in what ways might you need to confess and turn from a sin in which you acted without integrity?
Look back at the principles just above. Jot down a few specific ways you can put into action one or two of those principles.
Daniel didn’t spend time worrying about what his enemies might do. Instead, he focused on walking with God. He stayed true to the path God set for him, despite the fierce winds that could have easily blown him off course. As you close this study, pray for God to empower you to walk through your storms with a Daniel-like resolve.
Go to insightforliving.ca/essential to download the full-length Searching the Scripture Study and listen to Pastor Chuck’s message.