In a culture that is increasingly hostile to Christians living out their faith biblically . . . . . .
(don't believe the comedians and pundits who say that Christians need to "stop whining" and talk about the privileges Christians have over other belief systems, etc. . . . . from their perspective, yes, there is alot of "cultural Christianity" that is widely accepted in America. But, that's not what we're talking about. . . we're talking about actually seeking to live a public life in line with the scriptures. That kind of life is more and more offensive to our culture)
. . . it can be easy to become discouraged. If you watch the news the last few weeks it's easy to become disheartened and think that we need to compromise our faith to "fit in" or even "survive" in our culture. As God wills it, this is not the first time this has happened in history. The last half of the Old Testament is largely the story of God's people in exile. They were captured, and carried off to lands that were not their own, to a people who did not accept their faith. There is much to learn from these books. . Daniel, Malachi, Ezekiel, etc. . . .
Larry Osborne has a very wise, very helpful piece here on how Christians should live in a land that is becoming less and less like "Christendom" (and that can be a good thing. . .) and more and more like "Babylon". I'll put a few of my favorite of his thoughts here, but I'd encourage you to take a few minutes and read the whole thing. . . . very helpful.
--Daniel had Hope in the biblical sense of the word. He had a deep-seated confidence in God's character and sovereignty.--
--The more Babylon-like our culture becomes, the more our resentment builds, resulting in bitterness, slander, rumormongering, and harsh critiques that no one would characterize as a kind and gentle rebuke... Yet every interaction Daniel had with him was respectful and gracious. He understood that every time we treat God’s enemy as our enemy we harden their hearts and build up a wall that makes repentance all the more unlikely.--
--But his trust in God’s ultimate goodness and power was stronger and deeper than his sorrow or confusion. He might not have understood everything that was happening. But he responded as one who knew that God was in control of who was in control, even when God’s choices proved to be puzzling and disturbing.--