God Still Speaks Today

Dear Friends,

I had decided what I would write in this post, but then midway through the week I changed my mind, or perhaps I should say, I felt that God changed my mind, as to what I should write about.

In my daily quiet time I've been reading the book of Daniel, and on this particular morning, God highlighted a verse to me which gave me tremendous encouragement, comfort and blessing.  I have written it onto card so that I can keep reading it and meditating on it.  The more I thought on it, the more I felt that I wasn't to keep it to myself, that if it had blessed me, then there were probably others who would also find it encouraging and comforting. I don't know what you are facing right now, I don't know how your relationship is with God, but my prayer is that as you are reading this right now God will bless you and give you the encouragement and comfort you may be in need of.

The verse is Daniel 10:19 “Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!”  As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.”  (NLT)

The first word that stood out to me was "precious".  To God we are of value and worth, we are special to him, he treasures us, other translations say we are "greatly beloved" by God.  We are precious to him, not because of anything we have done but because of who he is, because he loves us unconditionally.  Perhaps you don't feel precious to anyone right now, I know I haven't sometimes, because in a world that values what you can do, your level of performance and the contribution you make to society, when your health fails and you can do next to nothing, you can feel pretty worthless.  Perhaps instead of feeling precious you feel unappreciated and neglected, used and abused, battered and broken.  Despite what has happened in your life, what you've done, or has been done to you, when God looks at you, with eyes full of love he says "You are so very precious to me."  In Deuteronomy 7:6b we read "Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure." (NLT) You may be struggling to believe that right now, it may take time for the truth of it to sink in to your very soul.  But ask God to help you to reject the lies you've believed about yourself and replace them with the truth of who you are in God's eyes, with the truth that you are precious to him.

We're told: "Don't be afraid...Peace!"  It's natural for us to feel fear sometimes, when what we're facing just seems too big, when it seems more than we can handle.  What is your fear right now?  Perhaps you're afraid as you wait for the results of a biopsy, or you fear being alone, or fear debt, or losing someone you love, or any number of things.  But we don't need to let that fear overwhelm us or control us because God is with us and he can bring peace into the most unsettled situation, a peace that goes beyond all understanding.  This peace is based on a loving relationship with him, and his Holy Spirit gives us peace within and without.  Can I encourage you that if peace is lacking and fear is reigning then come to God, spend time in his presence, make it your goal to know him more.  The more time we spend with him, the more we focus on him, the more we will experience his incredible peace. Jesus said in John 16:33 "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (NLT)  With God we can know what it means to have peace and we can overcome because of him.

"Be encouraged!"  How we all need this.  I don't know about you but when I'm suffering pain, when things are tough, it's easy for me to be discouraged, I can become quite negative, believing that things will never change, I can think I'm stuck like this, it's never going to improve, there's no hope.  But God can bring encouragement into the situation, he can show us that there is another way of looking at life, that there is hope, that he can bring good out of the worst thing we have faced/are facing.  As Joseph was able to say "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good." Genesis 50:20a (NLT) The greatest encouragement God gives me is knowing that he is with me in my pain, he's there in the trial, he doesn't leave me to face it alone.  He brings me comfort in the trial and encourages me to endure, to keep going, to not give up or give in.  But we all, myself included, need to be reminded of this from time to time.

"Be strong!"  Be strong?  When I'm feeling so weak, when I'm at the end of myself, when I have no fight left in me?  How is that possible?  It's possible because God's not saying gather up my own strength, rely on what little strength I have.  What he's saying is "Trust me, I'm going to give you my strength, I shall exchange your weakness for my strength.  Have courage, we will come through this together, rely on me, lean on me.  Draw your strength from who I am and what I can do in and through you.  This is what God said to Joshua in Joshua 1:9 as he took on the role from Moses of leading God's people to the Promised Land: "This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (NLT)

As Daniel digested these words in Daniel 10:19 he was strengthened, he knew how vital God's word was to him.  We all need God's word in our life, we need to taste and see that the Lord is good, that his word is good for us, we need this spiritual nourishment more than our daily bread.  We need to digest God's word, to chew it over, to feed on it, to allow his word to bring life, hope, peace, comfort, encouragement and strength to us.  There is nothing else like it, and I honestly don't know where I would be today without God's word in my life.

To Think About:
Write this verse from Daniel onto card and carry it with you, feed on it, meditate on it.  Ask God to speak personally to you through this verse. 

Is there someone you could pass this verse on to who would also be blessed by it?

If we are going to hear God speak to us through his word we need to set aside time to regularly be with God and read his word.  How can you ensure that you do this regularly?



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