We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Kelly Bryant.
“16 Then one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, ‘I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. 17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.’ 18 Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength.“
Today is the third day we’ve centered our studies in the book of Daniel. To give some context to this study, Daniel was a young man taken into exile in Babylon during the time when the ruler Antiochus was persecuting the Jews. As such, Daniel would have been identified as a prisoner and an outsider. He worshipped God in a way that made him look weird to others around him. He prayed differently. He ate differently. Imagine what the Babylonians who met a guy like Daniel would have said about him.
Despite all of this, the Bible records four different times when God chose Daniel to receive a vision from Him. The world may have called Daniel a prisoner, a fool, or a weirdo, but God called him greatly loved, strong, and courageous.
Lauren Daigle’s song “You Say” powerfully illustrates what God says about us as His children. The lyrics say:
“You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am yours”
If Daniel believed what others said, he would have likely made very different choices. He would have lived his life as a prisoner and an outcast. Much of the trajectory of our lives depends on which voice we choose to believe. Will you believe the labels of your past choices or your current circumstances? Will you believe you are what others have called you? Or will you have the courage to believe that you are who your Father says you are?
Father, I thank you for making me in Your image. Before I was born, You had a plan for me. In You, I am complete and lack nothing. Help me to resist the temptation to see myself as less than who You created me to be. Help me to live this day knowing that I am fully known and fully loved by You. I am who You say I am!
When you find yourself having negative thoughts, remind yourself of who God says you are. Find a favorite scripture to use as a mantra anytime you doubt your ability to be everything God called you to be.
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