And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. ~Daniel 10:11
And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. ~Daniel 10:19
I admit I’m a bit different in the way I think sometimes. Words jump out at me and send my mind to wandering. As I was reading the Book of Daniel a few weeks ago, I was struck by the angel calling him “greatly beloved.” To me, that speaks more than just, “You are loved.” “Beloved” means “adored, cherished, treasured, highly regarded, esteemed, much loved.” Daniel held a special place in God’s heart, and God wanted Daniel to know that.
We all know that God loved the world that He gave His Son but it seems like there are some who hold an especially close place in His heart. With Moses, God talked face to face (Numbers 12:8). At one point, God stated, “I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated” (Malachi 1:2-3). He called David a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22). I’m sure there are more examples I could give, but you get my point.
I don’t write this to begin a doctrinal dispute. I just feel like it’s easy to take God’s love for granted and to think that, since God loves us, He will love us regardless of how we live. I want to study the lives of people like Moses and Daniel and David and find out what it was that made God pay special attention to them. They were just men and yet each one of them had a heart that was fully toward the Lord.
I pray that God will find me drawing ever closer to Him, that nothing will be more important than spending time with Him and taking time to hear what He would speak. I pray that pleasing Him would be my goal before anything else. I pray that He would say to me, “O daughter, greatly beloved, I am here.” I can’t think of anything that speaks peace more than that.
Great post. I pray that my desire would be for Him, His will and glory above all else, as well.
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Thanks for this piece! Especially helpful “right at this time!”
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Sony and Violet
Why do the righteous suffer and wicked prosper? What spiritual lessons was God trying to teach the Christians torn apart by beast in the Roman coliseums or burned alive by ISIS? What lessons was God trying to teach John the Baptist or His holy Apostles when they died at the hands of the wicked?
What lesson is God teaching believers who have lived the life of Job for decades? What lesson was God teaching a preschooler when their parents were unaccepting and unloving from birth?
What comfort is gained from hireling pastors who blame you for your unending trials? These hirelings who credit their highly sanctified walk for all of their abundant, “life of Reilly”, blessings. What lesson was God teaching that same child when their premature child dies in their arms? What about the premature child the survives with grievous mental and physical abnormalities?
What lesson is God teaching when your so called sisters in Christ treat you like an unclean leper when you tell them your trials? Conversely they show great empathy and compassion for other members when they suffer from a hangnail. What lesson is God teaching when you see Matt. 6:1-8 pseudo Christians being lauded by your church? What lesson is God teaching when you have no support from church or family save for your souse? No matter how badly anyone treats you they all blame you for their actions.
What lesson is God teaching when not one prayer of significance has been been answered?
Are you suggesting that there is always some sort of a, “karmic”, quid pro quo with God?
T.I., there is no “quid pro quo” with God. God does not give to us for the purpose of receiving something in return. God stands alone and has no need of anything we can offer Him. He even delights in our worship, but it does not make Him more God than He is already.
Your words ring with a tinge of regret or bitterness maybe. Sometimes it is hard to read the words of others and determine what is happening in their lives. However, having said that, if you have read through the years, you will know that we have greatly struggled, even with some of the very things you have mentioned here.
To answer your question – what lessons do we learn or others who struggle through various trials of fire? I think the answer can be found in Romans 8:28-29. God has created us and we are saved in order that we might become more like His Son Jesus Christ. Anything and everything that we can or might endure in this life will be seen as but a light affliction when we stand before God and radiate in the glory that surrounds us. Yes, life may be difficult or even tortuous down here, but not in light of eternity. The lessons we learn are designed to shape and mold us. They knock off the dross that is found on us so that when Christ returns for His Bride, we will have been made ready for His return.
Please remember that there are always 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to the Baals of this world. Regardless of what others do or how they treat you, it does not and will not ever change what our response should be to the Lord and to the Scriptures. Prayers are always answered for the believer, sadly, we tend to forget that answers can include the word “NO” or “NOT YET” or even “For your protection and growth as my child, I am going to continue putting through the Refiner’s Fire.”
I hope this helps clarify the encouraging posts that have been posted here of late. If not, you are welcome to ask more questions.
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So what is my point? There is no infallible formula for determining cause and effect for blessings or trials. I tire of messages that seem to teach otherwise explicitly or implicitly
Never forget the error of Christ’s disciples when they asked, ” who sinned this man or his parents.” There is no guarantee that if you do this God must do that. If this is happening to you or is not happening to you it must because of this or that.
” Jesus wept.” There are times when the very best thing we can do is tame our tongue and demonstrate genuine from the heart empathy for the hurting. No it is not trials that I protest. Rather it is the hardness the indifference the cold hearts of brothers and sisters in Christ that hurts more than the trials themselves. Spare the suffering your “be warm be fed’ verbal dribble. Spare the suffering stupid trite tripe such as, ” well it could be worse”.Do not tell them that you “feel their pain” only if it has deep committed truth behind it. Don’t say a quick pray then never ever follow up long term. You cannot nurse someones soul with some effortless band-aide lip service.
Yes greater reward awaits us but that in and of itself cannot relieve intense physical pain of the body or intense anguish of the soul. Unending grief exhausts the weary soul. Job lost his patience with his “friends”.” …..all wisdom will die with you”
T.I., I understand intense pain and what it means to look approaching death in the eye on more than one occasion. It may not be the same type of pain you have endured, but I still know pain all too well for a great deal of my entire life span of almost 50 years. The post and comments have nothing to do with “verbal dribble” or “stupid trite tripe.” It was not written to demonstrate hardness or indifference from a cold heart. Our family personally knows Sony and her health problems have also been substantial and for many years.
The sin nature in every person is ultimately the underlying reason why we long for the return of Christ, for even creation groans like a woman in birth pains wishing to be relieved of the curse of sin. However, the things that come into our lives are allowed by a gracious God who cares for His children. We will never understand why all of a certain thing assails our soul or our body until we bow lost in wonder at the tender mercies and extravagant love shown to us by the Trinity.
You are correct that the reward of eternity does not “relieve intense physical pain of the body or intense anguish of the soul.” Yes, these things do weary the soul and we can lose patience with those who do not understand what pain is. Job lost patience but it was because they were using human wisdom and platitudes to try and explain away the workings of a sovereign God.
We do not know your situation, nor is our situation identical to yours. What we do know for sure is the words of Scripture that do apply to the heart of every true believer. Whether we choose to believe the words or not does not make them true. The words are true simply because they are given by God. Choosing to believe only helps to bring comfort to our hearts and minds that God is and always will be in control even when we do not understand His mysterious ways.