We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Mark Graves.
“And he said to me, ‘O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.’ And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, ‘Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.‘“
Sometimes it is proper to be afraid. Let me repeat that, there are some things that need to be feared. Bravery and courage are not the absence of fear at all. Bravery and courage are going on despite the fear.
In this pandemic year, there is much to look around and be afraid of. Some of you are, or will be, financially stretched beyond what you can bear. Some of you have or will lose family and friends. Some of you have, or will, face situations only 12 short months ago you would never have imagined.
Daniel himself faced fear. Many different kinds, and in this set of verses he faced the real fear of meeting an angel. Not an everyday happening to be sure. I have only met one person who has seen and angel. The only language he had to describe it to me was awe and terror combined.
The angel tells Daniel to ‘not fear.’ I would like to take a second to teach some basic Bible hermeneutics. What is given to a person specifically for them in the Bible does not apply to me. So, for example, we have never been commanded to be courageous in the Bible (repeat we as believers have never been commanded to be courageous). Joshua was, but we have not been. To explain why that is not good hermeneutics is to say that Hosea was commanded to go marry a harlot. I can say with all positivity that we have not all been commanded to marry a harlot.
So, we can learn from how God has dealt with other people, but their commands are not our commands. Just saying… Daniel in this instance is touched and spoken to by an angel. He feels fear, dread and terror. Even though the angel was sent to bring hope and words of comfort, he feels fear in the presence of something beyond him. The angel tells him, ‘you who are highly esteemed.’ No one else in the Bible is told that.
Daniel receives comfort despite his fear. That is where the word and our lives intersect. You and I are not commanded to not fear. You and I have received comfort DESPITE the fear. You and I have the comforter as a companion DESPITE the fact we will face horrible things in our lives. The next year might (and for some of us will) bring worse things to pass. But we have a companion that walks with us closer than any human ever will. That is why we can be courageous and brave, because we have a comforter closer than a brother or a sister. We walk forward knowing that despite what we face God walks alongside us.
Lord, help me to see your work in my life. Help me to see where your hand has been even when I felt abandoned and alone. Help me to see your work, that has been and always will be with me.
Journal and be honest with the things that you are afraid of. Don’t fear (true words) because God is not offended by our honesty. Bring them out into the open. Make them into prayers (like Daniel’s) and allow God to show you God’s perspective on them.
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