Daniel: Day 16

Good News in Unlikely Places

by

Today's Text: Daniel 8:1-27, Romans 8:31-39

I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was greatly disturbed by the vision and could not understand it.

- Daniel 8:27 HCSB -

Because the Bible is true, even the parts that are confusing or hard to understand are good news.

You’ve probably heard us say this before at She Reads Truth, but do you think we can find it to be true in today’s difficult-to-understand passage? Is there good news in Daniel chapter 8?

Again today, we’re talking visions. And again today, we’re pulling our reading from the “apocalyptic literature” shelf (a real crowd-pleaser!). This time, the vision is focused on a ram, a goat, and more horns than a marching band. (I couldn’t help myself, you guys.)

One fascinating little side note: in Biblical literature, a horn almost always has to do with power, dominion, and authority. Consider:

  • the horns blown to take down Jericho’s walls (Joshua 6:5).
  • the ram’s horns caught in the thicket to be Abraham’s sacrifice instead of Isaac  (Genesis 22:13).
  • David calls the Lord the horn of his salvation (Psalm 18:3).

The horns in Daniel’s vision are no exception, but they’re still a little tricky to make sense of.

Fortunately for us, Gabriel appears to Daniel in verse 15 to explain what he saw. Here is the gist of the angel’s explanation:

  • The two-horned ram represents the kings of Media and Persia (v. 3-4, 20).
  • The shaggy goat represents the king of Greece (v. 5-7, 21).
  • Specifically, the large horn between his eyes is understood to be Alexander the Great (v. 8, 21).
  • Historically, after Alexander the Great’s death in 323 B.C., four smaller rulers (horns) rose in his place, but none were as powerful as him (v. 8, 22).

Gabriel goes on to talk about the little horn, “an insolent king, skilled in intrigue,” who causes “deceit to prosper.” This horn is widely believed to be Antiochus Epiphanes (who reigned much later, from 175–164 BC). A wicked ruler and persecutor of the Jews, he is historically renowned for desecrating the temple by sacrificing pigs on the altar and setting it up as a shrine to Zeus. He was a bad guy after a long string of bad guys, in what amounted to a prophetic foretelling to Daniel of centuries of persecution ahead for the Jews.

To be honest? This is a whole lot of crazy awful. And, I imagine, it was the last thing Daniel hoped to learn in a vision. He’d been praying for deliverance, something this dream promised he’d never see in his lifetime. You know those “good tidings of great joy” the same Gabriel would later deliver to Mary? This was not that. Not even close.

Terrible leaders and violent conquerors lay ahead, and things are going to get a whole lot worse for God’s people before they get better. No wonder verse 27 tells us Daniel “was overcome and lay sick for days.”

Maybe you feel like Daniel today. Maybe you’re also learning firsthand that God’s deliverance is rarely quick or tidy. Perhaps you’re beginning to understand, like the Israelites learned, that God doesn’t always take us out of pain or heartache. Instead, He gives us the grace and everything we need to persevere in heartache (2 Peter 1:3).

In one sense, our world is not what it used to be; in another, it’s exactly as bad as it’s always been. Headlines leave us confused and distraught like Daniel, knowing things may very well get worse before they get better.

Our omnipotent God is able to turn nations on a dime, just as He mercifully and quickly delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago from the flames. But even if He does not, He is able to preserve His people in the midst of their persecution.

I suppose Daniel 8 is good news then, isn’t it? Because the Bible is true, we can look all manner of persecution in the face and have confidence that nothing in the present or future can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39).

And so, as believers who suffer or endure persecution, we can rise up and go about the King’s business just as Daniel did. Even when we don’t understand. Even when we are overwhelmed. Because the greatest evils in the world will come face to face with the Prince of princes and “will be shattered—not by human hands” (Daniel 8:25).

Thanks be to God.

SRT-Daniel_instagram16

  • I never thought about this before, but it is such a sweet mercy from God that He lets us in on what’s coming at the end. The end is coming, but it isn’t anything to be afraid of, since at the end of the end Jesus Christ conquers evil decisively and gloriously. What a beautiful hope! I forget that it’s this truth I need to set my hope on: God wins, and he graciously lets his children share in his winning.

  • Weepy as I read this and think of the masses being persecuted in Syria and millions displaced and suffering. It is easy to ignore and heartbreaking to try to comprehend. Even when we don’t understand. Even when we are overwhelmed. The greatest evils WILL come face to face with the Prince of princes and will be shattered- not by human hands. Come Lord Jesus.

    • CJ

      Jen.. I so can feel my heart break… And imagine what our Father of the universe thinks of the complacence. I have feet.. I have hands… What is his will for me.. That is my prayerful reflection tonight. Jesus already has the victory.. And already knows the plan..I long to do your will oh Lord. Praying to be a neon sign, that points straight to the Son if God as my risen and their Risen Savior. He IS.

  • Michelle of LA CA

    "God doesn’t always take us out of pain or heartache. Instead, He gives us the grace and everything we need to persevere in heartache (2 Peter 1:3)."
    Wow wow , this statement spoke volume to me today , thank you . Powerful

  • Heather, there is so much to your story, but your faithfulness in hope is beautiful. I hope that you had a fantastic day yesterday and that as the year goes on, and kids are added to the equation, the days only get better. I can't begin to imagine your pain over Alexander. So good to hear how he has come, that Alexander is doing well and that you have felt God's love in the midst of it all. The devastation this causes has so many ripples, but your testimony over it surely will be a light to others. I'm going to be prayerful, moving forward, over Alexander H. 17 is so tough these days, my Bella is 17 too, there is so much coming at them. I will be praying that God draws very close to him and has freed him completely of any pain in the anxiety and depression, that A finds great comfort through knowing the Lord so personally, for your entire family as they continue to walk this out and that your heart be at peace, knowing that God is covering your sweet boy. Very much love to you friend. As I am prayerful this morning, in my mind, I'm sipping coffee with you and listening to your amazing story and heart H! ~ B

    • MNmomma (heather)

      17 is crazy……and today's world makes it even crazier! Thank you for your prayers – I am sitting with my tea this morning praying right along with you my friend. It has been an adventure for sure……but also very amazing to see how God is using this season in our lives already. It is a journey to be sure. He has peaks and valleys, however the valleys now aren't quite as low….and we are prayerful that with time, they will improve. The start of school will be interesting – his goal is to interact more with his peers (he is AMAZING with adults….just has difficulty related to his peers). He has been blessed with the gift of conversationalism (with adults)…..and has the most kind, loving and generous heart – things that will serve him so very well in life….just not so "prized" in youth by your peers (especially in a very small school….40 kids in his class)….love and hugs!

      • ~ B ~

        Sounds similar to my Bella. With moving so much, she is always able to make quick friends, but quality seems to become an issue. Moving here the middle of 9th grade really set her back. She went from a really small arts school to an academic giant. She struggled to find close friends and when she did, Junior year something shifted in her and she was finally ready to realize that it was ok that she didn't see eye to eye with them and that if she felt mistreated, she could choose to walk away from the hard relationships, it was ok. She felt so underappreciated for who she is and as if no one really "got" her, but this year she also discovered what she wants to do in life and has a new confidence rooted in that and a God-centered security. Friends are tough, peers aren't always the easiest to navigate. I will be prayerful that God delivers young people into Alexander's life that will show love to him and provide encouragement. That this year will be great and good change for him. That God reminds him of the sweet heart He has given him and shows him precisely how to use it. ~ B

  • Not even the worries about tomorrow can separate us from his love… his love for us surpasses all. I am so blessed to be loved by the KING!! His love endures forever!

  • After hearing so many awful headlines for the past week or so in particular, my heart needed this message today. Grateful!

  • Thank you Raechel for this devotional. As a young mom who is often scared by headlines (imagining the worst), this was such solid Truth to be reminded of. Jesus, in place of fear, give me faith..

  • Elizabeth Elliot said it best, "of this I am sure, God's story never ends in ashes."
    In every season of life, He is sovereign and He is good. Even when we don't understand, we can choose to trust Him, because we know He is fighting for us in all of it.

  • Sarabeth

    Sorry to comment again, but…
    Sending a virtual hug to all of you. One day, I would love to give you hugs in person. I am so grateful for this community of sisters and for our Glorious, Faithful God.

  • Sarabeth

    Exactly what I needed to hear. Life can be tough and heartbreaking, but our Lord has us in His hands and nothing can separate us from Him.

  • monkeys151

    I am so thankful that we have God on our side… Sometimes I forget that God allows us to suffer so that we might become more like his son. I am also very thankful that NOTHING can separate us from his amazing love!

  • jessiechatchat

    “…God’s deliverance is rarely quick or tidy.” Amen. He is the God of the long game, for sure.

  • Glory! I am so grateful for this study! It is slowly preparing my heart for coming days! Thankful that I have been given all that pertains to life and godliness and that in the face of adversity I can smile because I serve a faithful God who may not deliver me in the midst but will surely at the end. Lord I am praying for strength and courage to persevere, boldness to stand for you through persecution. For nothing or no one can separate us from Your love.
    Thank You Jesus!
    Blessed Tuesday Ladies!

  • Heather, one of the things I have held on to, second to God …are the words, one day at a time…I am so thankful that Alexander and your family has gotten this far, and I am trusting God to see you all through…if for now, it's one day at a time, so be it….but I believe there will be, one day, soon , when you all will have seen the back of this season, and life can be seen as beautiful, beautiful because God has been in it to enjoy it…
    I will hold you all in my prayers dear friend…
    God bless and be with you all , you Heather, as you begin a new term, Alexander as he negotiates life, the boys as they walk alongside each other, and the rest of your family…Sending you all hugs..xxx

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Thank you so much Tina…..God works in such mysterious ways. One way we have witnessed over the past year is that He has used our experience to help others. I have been able to walk families step by step thru the process of bringing your child in for suicidal concerns and "what to expect". Prior to this I would just be referring to the Dr. Now I know exactly how/where to refer to. I wish I still didn't know how the whole system works, but God has used our experience to help a couple of families already…..

      love and hugs to you this morning, dear one!!!

  • I love this perspective. Instead of looking at the doom and gloom prophecy, it is really encouraging to know that even all the doom and gloom is not going to separate us from the love of God. And no matter how terrible the situation may seem, God is still in control.

  • How I (and my Mom) needed to read and be reminded of this age old truth today. My family (as individuals, and a whole) have really been financially struggling for several years, and though we trust God to provide, my Mom has a lot of fear and anxiety around money. I read parts of this lesson aloud to her this morning, and I could see it bring her back to Truth, to the knowledge that God is always good and he never leaves us.

    It does seem as if time is getting darker, the world crazier, but I love what was said here, “In one sense, our world is not what it used to be; in another, it’s exactly as bad as it’s always been.” We are but another generation of Jesus followers who face no worse now than our historical brothers/sisters have. It makes me think of Daniel and wonder at the joy he probably feels now in heaven, seeing how those stormy days of his life (though scary), served to bring about God’s plans, and to instruct us with wisdom today. :)

  • 27 “I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.”
    I love how God gave Daniel the rest that He needed here *before* He got up to do the king’s business.
    I, for one, can get so caught up in not thinking I need rest or space to refresh that I don’t actually rest or refresh. When I compare myself to others or measure myself to my own imaginary scale of expectation, I feel that I am not where I want to be and therefore do not deserve rest. Comparison and personal expectation are ugly and lead me nowhere good. BUT if I look at Daniel’s experience here instead, he took the rest He needed then got up. This gives my weary, toiling heart peace and hope.
    Praying that I can take the rest I need in Him to listen for His voice and His leading, so that I can be better prepared and equipped to do His work. Trusting Him for discernment in my next steps. Praying for a gracious heart toward myself so that I can genuinely show and share that same grace and love – given by Him – to others.

  • Sarah_Olsen

    I just can't get enough of God's word!! I toss Scripture around in my mind and pray for understanding and revelation! God is so powerful and amazing. Surely people dreamed when Daniel lived. What gets me, is, Daniel didn't brush any of these off as just another dream. He knew God was speaking to him and he listened. I wonder how many times God has spoke to me and I haven't listened. Sisters, isn't it great to know that we have a God who will walk through fire with us?! As a parent, I know that I will not always be able to keep the bad things from happening to my son, I also know that I don't always want to. Sure I don't want to hurt him, but I do want him to learn lessons and to live life. I want him to make choices and to follow through with them, good or bad. I think this is the greatness of our Father, God. He could very easily stop all bad things. But what would that do? That would simply leave us in a position of forced love. We would love Him because we knew know different, we would love Him because He made everything go our way. God wants fellowship, God wants to spend eternity with us, but he wants to spend eternity with children who choose to love Him. Children who, regardless of the bad things they go through because of their choices, still turn to Him and love Him. And even when we make choices we shouldn't, when we walk through fire or get tossed into a sea we feel will cannot swim in, God is there with us, He is always there with us. And I love the fact that my Father will walk through this life of vanity with me, and that He speaks to me and shows me the end. God is preparing us, Sisters, for a world that is bound to end, an earthly world that will spiral down, and Jesus will come rescue us from it. God is preparing us and telling us that everything that is happening in the world, everything that will happen in the world, is already in motion. We can't stop it, we can't run from it, we can't hide from it, but He will be there with us through it. All we have to do is believe. Daniel's story is so great because all Daniel did was believe, pray, love, and obey. Pretty simple, huh? Believe, pray, love and obey and God, our Father, will walk through us in tribulation. God our Father will be there when the world's choices, when human kinds choices (the first sin) all leads to desolation and end. And in the end, a new beginning will be created where Heaven on earth will become our reality and we no longer will live in a perpetual state of the here and now. Time will linger, eternity will exist, and we will sing and worship praise to our Lord and Savior.

  • Diane Huntsman

    Father, I lift Sar to You this morning. Thank You for giving her life, thank You for being with her and for her. You are the great physician and I ask for Your touch on her physically, that the once abnormal tests would now be completely normal. Health is a gift and we are grateful when we have it, I pray that Sar with Your help, can keep her mind stayed on You so that You will keep her in perfect peace as she waits for results. If You allow there to be a health issue to deal with, may Your grace be sufficient in her time of need, and may You strengthen her to walk that road You are allowing her to walk. Whatever You allow, may she be able to bring glory to You through either outcome, healing or dealing with the prognosis. In the life giving name of Jesus I pray. Amen

  • This is a great reminder that God is always with me. If its ok Id like to ask for prayer for health. Ive had abnormal test results and hoping next text comes back negative. Praying for Gods healing or grace.

    Thank you

  • Teri Lynne Underwood

    I love in verse 25 the reminder that rescue and deliverance will come "but by no human hand." How often am I guilty of seeking the solution to situations in my life by human (usually my own human) hands? Daniel was praying for God's deliverance but this vision showed an even harder road lay ahead. "God's deliverance is rarely quick or tidy." Such a powerful truth and a difficult lesson for me (us?). BUT even when He doesn't change our situation or end the heartbreak, He is faithful and gives us all we need, through Christ, to go on. Sometimes even in the midst of the daily mundane I lose sight of the truth we are MORE THAN conquerors through Christ. NOTHING can separate us from the love of God – NOTHING!! Even when we are scared or doubting or weary, we can continue in the assurance His love is secure and certain. The sovereignty of God is not shaken by the situations of man.

    • Alexis C.

      I can so relate to “Human hands”! I am a “fixer” and constantly have to stop and check myself to listen to what is being said to me by others and My Father so I truly know if I am meant to help and pray or just listen and pray.

  • As someone who loves and studies from the apocalyptic literature shelf :) I wanted to offer a possible differing viewpoint for those interested in discussing or digging deeper into Daniel 8. This position considers whether the horn was in fact Antiocus Epiphanes (who certainly did serve as an example of the horn much like pharoah) based on how we interpret the scriptures in all other areas of the Bible. The author’s opinion is certainly not dogmatic, but it presents interesting ideas and viewpoints certainly worth discussing among small groups for those interested in eschatology.

    I realize the video is an hour (who has time for that!?), but it’s a good listen and worth the time if you enjoy studying this topic.

    http://youtu.be/o5CgKivM7Sk

  • Prayers for you all this day. I have been there with a granddaughter. Praying for blessings, strength, and peace. You are all wrapped in God's loving arms.

  • HelenWalksinAwe

    Very reassuring!

  • This devotional brought back a lot of memories for me. Three years ago, I was going through a very dark season of depression and anxiety. I felt lost, overwhelmed and weak. I didn't understand what was going on in my mind and I honestly felt like I was going crazy. But God! I thank God that He is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). I look back and think about it and just realize that God never left me in those dark moments and He NEVER will. There's absolutely NOTHING that can separate me from His love and I am more than a conqueror through Him.

  • I also keyed into the phrase: "appointed time". This vision was God revealing things to Daniel concerning Israel's future, but also ours (in the end times). But what do we do with it? So we read Revelation and Daniel and Thessalonians . . . and the end of time might look a little bit scary. But I LOVE what Daniel does. He goes about the King's business. That is our job too. We work for the King, empowered by the King, in order to bring glory to the King, and introduce others to our great King. Yes, times ahead may be confusing or scary. But guess what? Those times are appointed by God. He is in absolute control of everything that will happen and yes, He will never allow anything to separate us from His love. How cool is God? Way.

  • Praying for you and your son today.

  • Praying for you, in your first "official" day.

    Praying for your son, Alexander, and for your other boys, too.

  • I like that “as believers who suffer, we can rise up and go about the King’s beginnings just as Daniel did. Even when we don’t understand! Even when we are overwhelmed!”

    • Carolyn

      Yes, Bethany, so do I! It's so easy, looking around us, to get discouraged. We must stand firm, remembering and being convinced that He IS still in control!

  • “God doesn’t always take us out of pain or heartache. Instead, He gives us the grace and everything we need to persevere in heartache (2 Peter 1:3).” Amen!! I love how in the beginning if our reading, the end is referred to as “an appointed time.” All of it is in the hands of God and He is in control and that is how we know that He can indeed get us through – regardless of what we’re facing.

  • KiKi l'Italien

    Man, reading Daniel sure is challenging for me! I won’t deny that Daniel’s visions pump up the volume on the drama, but how scary! Can you imagine being the person having these visions? As I try each day to grow closer to God through prayer and His word, I am discovering more and more the fascinating nuances of each book of the Bible and the messages contained within. I am so thankful to SRT (and a couple other daily sources of inspiration and learning – Girlfriends in God and First 5) for providing such thoughtful insight into the Scripture so that I may understand His word better. Thank you!

    • I was thinking that as well, KiKi. What would it be like to be Daniel, the person trusted with this vision? What a heavy task. But Daniel was never meant to carry it on his own. God had it all along, Daniel was just the messenger. He was only required to be obedient with what God had given him. Just as we are with our own calling.

  • Caroline @ In due time

    So thankful we can grieve with hope because we know how the story ends!

    http://Www.in-due-time.com

  • If I were Daniel, I'd want to hide away in bed for a few days in tears over this too. It would hurt to think the salvation I'd prayed for I'd never see, but at the same time, much like my comment yesterday, I can't help but feel God's love in this message. Like standing before a dark path, we will likely tremble and delay our first step, fearing for what lies ahead, but THIS God stands with us, saying … "I am right here. This won't be easy, there WILL be some scary parts. You're going to get scrapes and cuts and the climb will be steep, but I am not going anywhere. Where you go in this, I will be with you. I will not leave your side."

    God doesn't promise that our lives will turn out the way we want. We will trip up, our finances will struggle, our kids will get sick, our husbands may leave, we will lose loved ones and our bodies will fail. We, like Daniel, reside in a place that is not our home. Comfortable, but longing for so much more. And with each year that passes, there will be good, but there will also be pain. We may never see redemption for the things or people we pray for in our lifetimes, but unlike those ancient days we don't have to stand outside the holy tents because we aren't worthy. We are able to not only venture into the tent but beyond the curtain. We can go straight to God with our fears, our heartaches, our trouble. We can fall in His lap and cry out, we can drop to our knees with our faces buried in our hands and He will not walk away. He is our great comforter AND our victory, just as He was Daniel's. NOTHING we face separates us. God is always with us, we don't walk these wretched and painful journeys alone. Praising God for He IS our constant triumph, our champion, our truest companion! ~ B

    "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

    • Tricia

      Praise God! Thank you B for the comments.

    • Sarah_Joy

      Thank you, B. My heart is aching for a neighbor with rapidly debilitating Alzheimer’s. I also have my oldest in her first weeks of kindergarten, which has proven tough my mama heart. Such an important reminder that God does not leave us to walk these days alone.

      • ~ B ~

        Alzheimers is hard to watch, I hope your neighbor has a strong support system … these things are so intimidating and terribly sad, thankful for God in it all. That He is our victory over such things as these. I also have one in kindergarten, my youngest and it is hurting my heart also. My eldest, a daughter, is a senior. Treasure these days, I'm sure you've heard they fly by. :) ~ B

    • Beverly

      B, your words offer my heart so much hope and truth. I stand waiting to walk into a path of light, so fearful, because all of my previous steps have felt so not right. These mis-steps have caused me to hem and haw with trepidation in moving at all, feeling a failure.
      But it is true, as you say and as He is showing me, that He is with me and where I go He will go too. He goes behind and before me. And where I find myself is no surprise to Him. He has heard my prayers and He knows my heart. He is answering my prayers through what I consider mis-steps. Oh, that I remember and always know – He’s got this life of mine and He means to use it for good!
      So grateful for your thoughts, B.

      • ~ B ~

        Oh, Beverly, how I understand. I never had a whole lot of grace for myself and my miss-steps. It caused me to second guess so many decisions moving forward, convincing myself that I couldn't make a good decision and begging God not to give me choices to ensure that I'd go the right and proper route, BUT God in His goodness didn't do that. Over many things, he actually gave me choices and after working out grace for myself, showed me how to know I was making the right choices, those in His will for me. He also reminded me that if I veered the wrong direction, there would always be a way back. This is true for us all Beverly. I am continually prayerful over your walk these days. The place that you are in is one of great change and your commitment to walking it out with God is beautiful. He knows your steps. I once had a vision of Christ, (it's why "walking a path with Christ" is such a visual for me) walking me through a forest, a portion with a very small trail, riddled with trees and brush …. He walked ahead of me, holding back branches and shifting brush, so that I could walk unscathed, He would look back at me and hold His hand so that I could grab as we walked a heavier incline over rocky tread….. it was a beautiful picture and I believe that for you too Beverly. Every ounce of me does. He is with you. THIS is going to be a changed season for you. ~ B

        • Beverly

          B, your words speak incredibly true to my own experiences. Grace has always been a struggle for me. I also dislike making decisions for myself for fear of making the 'wrong' one. But, similar to your experience, God had other plans. Last year, I had many opportunities/decisions put before me. Some I tried, some I knew immediately, but – in the end – I walked away from each and every one of them for one reason or another. The winter after was bitterly cold and fallow as I felt overcome by my own guilt for not making one of those many seemingly good things work. Even still, I drew near to God as He called me to rest and desperately sought to revive my efforts in the spring to walk again. Prayerful. Hopeful.
          Again, one decision came… no, but it was a good no… then another decision came… yes!… but it ended up being not so good. And with a sense of God's overwhelming peace – which I had not felt in a awhile yet knew in the depths of my soul it was Him – I graciously walked away.
          And now… nothing. Silence. Mounting frustration. I want nothing more than to make sense of all this. Your words on grace ring true. And your similar experience of decisions (I had never thought of my experience in this way) gives me hope. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts, B. I believe so deeply in the power of bringing our prayers and petitions before God, and greatly appreciate yours, especially during this season. Praying He continues to soften my heart to Him. So grateful for you, friend.

    • tina

      Beautifully said, and in truth, Dear friend… Amen…to that…

      Sending love and hugs to you and yours ~B .xxx

      • ~ B ~

        Love to you T! Hope all is well across the pond with you and yours. Your son came to mind the other day and I was thinking about that walk with Christ for him that you pray over. Hope you're seeing movement there. ~ B

  • carlybenson

    This vision must have been terrifying, but the fact that God shows it to Daniel proves that he is in control and he knows what is going to happen. Things that happen may take us by surprise but they are not a surprise to God. Sometimes evil seems to reign and we can't understand why God lets it get so bad or go on so long, but it comforts me to know that God is there and he is still in control, even when I can't understand what he's doing. I'd rather know that than feel like he's lost control or is helpless to stop it. I'm grateful that NOTHING can separate us from God's love.
    Thank you so much to everyone who prayed for my friend yesterday. I'm so encouraged by your support and kind words.

  • There is NO contest here….here verse 31 says …in view of all this….what can we say?….If GOD is FOR us, WHO can be against us..??

    I'll say it again…If GOD is For us WHO can be against us….We have the Almighty God on our side, and there is nothing, NOTHING that can separate us from His love for or of us, ….neither death nor life, neither present nor the future, the world above or below…NOTHING can separate us from the love of God, which is ours through Christ Jesus Our Lord…Amen…Amen ..AMEN

    I have a plaque that says…Everyday may not be a good day…but there is good in every day…..

    We may go through stuff, we may go through some real awful, heartbeaking stuff….But God…God, He assures us that, no matter what comes, no matter what shape it takes, no matter how big, He is with us, He is right there with us….giving us the Grace to persevere, the strength to go through…even in our 'nightmare', the most unlikely place…. the Good News is that God is with, for and ours for always….He is right there in it with us…Thank you and Amen..Lord God…Thank you…xx

    Praying you feel and know His presence today, however your day….God is good…All the time…God is good…Blessings sisters…xxx

  • shewalksawesome

    Sisters, please lift me up in prayer as I seek strength to persevere in heartache. 37 weeks preggo and a long – crumbling marriage. Please pray for my soon to be four kids, my family…

    • tina

      Praying dear sister for God to come and minister his peace to, over and within….know that he is near, hold fast to Him, for he is your guide, your hope your strength..one day at a time… sister…xxx

    • carlybenson

      Praying for you and for your family that you will know God strengthening you and walking by your side and that you will experience his peace. Nothing can separate you from his love.

    • ~ B ~

      Prayerful over your season today. That you will find peace exactly where you are. That you know God is with you, that He sees you and your children and your husband. You aren't in this alone. Prayers that He covers you in good health and brings this baby safely into your arms and surrounds you with a great community to encourage and share in this season with you. Prayerful that whatever lies in the path of your marriage be bound up and removed, cast into a violent ocean, freeing you two from its grip. That there will grow a new love between you and your husband and this long-crumbling marriage will become as tight as a three cord rope. Praying this morning, that a profound hope rises up in you and that you are given a renewed strength for raising these sweet children of God's, that He clearly lay out the tools you need daily and that you feel as you walk this out God's presence and the wrath of His love warring over your family. Thinking of you sister. I will continue to lift you up. ~ B

    • Kelly_Smith

      Praying for you, sister! May God be your Strength, you Deliverer, and your Refuge.

    • Deb Black

      Praying! God is always faithful and He is always right on time even when we can’t see it through our tears.

    • Maya

      Praying for you, my sister! Nothing can separate you from His love.

    • Lyle

      Praying for you, your marriage and your sweet children. Echoing B’s prayers for you, dear sister.

    • Carrie

      Praying for you, dear. God brought my children and I through a valley of heartache almost 16 years this day. He will do it again and again for us yet-imperfect faithful. He loves you – He does.

      • HelenWalksinAwe

        The only good I'm seeing in this is that it's finally forcing me to truly cling to God for the first time — at least for the first time with this much heart-fullness and sincerity. If there is anything helpful from your journey that you can share, I'm all ears (or eyes =)). Praying for your continued peace and singing words of praise to God for bringing you through that valley sixteen years ago, Carrie!

    • Megan LeVan

      I’m praying for you this morning, and will continue to do so. I hope you’ll forgive the presumption of this, but I just learned about this book 2 days ago that you might be interested in: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0802411517/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?qid=1441106907&sr=8-4&pi=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=gary+chapman&dpPl=1&dpID=41OD1aJurGL&ref=plSrch . I’m concerned that is ruse of me to offer that when I don’t know any details about you or your situation, but I can’t shake the feeling that maybe I’m supposed to. Again, I’ll be praying for you, your marriage, and your children.

      • HelenWalksinAwe

        Thanks for sharing that resource. We've used several of Chapman's books over the past several years but I haven't heard of that one yet, so I looked it up at the library. I don't think your suggestion is rude at all– I appreciate it! And I also requested a few other Christian books on the topic that came up during my search. =)

    • Covering you in prayer as well. You are not without hope. Do not believe that lie for a minute. God can do great things in the middle of great messes. Keep believing him for it, as we gather around to believe it for you as well. And thank you for being brave enough to ask for prayer. That isn't always an easy step. <3

      • HelenWalksinAwe

        I guess what I struggle with is what I'm hoping for. I keep calibrating my hopes on human change when I should focus heavenward. Thanks for using that word (hope) to help me bring my focus back where it belongs. It's like no matter how much I realize this, I keep losing sight of it and need to refocus.

    • alexis

      Praying for you. Know that God hears the desires of your heart. He will bring you peace, health joy and strength to restore you.

    • Alexis C.

      Prayers for peace, comfort and unity.

    • Rachel

      My heart goes out to you. Praying for God to make his presence known to you as you seek him. Praying for His comfort, guidance and protection and for the body of Christ to meet your needs in this difficult season.

  • Wow. In the wake of my miscarriage this part was so powerful:

    “God doesn’t always take us out of pain or heartache. Instead, He gives us the grace and everything we need to persevere in heartache (2 Peter 1:3).”.

    A huge thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you whom commented on Saturday when I shared about my loss. You all are so loving. I saved every comment to look back on during the rough days.

    • Alexis C.

      Prayers of comfort to you. He does give us everything we need to persevere.

    • tina

      Kari, no thanks needed…

      We walk with you through this, as your sister's in Christ…your hurt is our hurt, your sadness ours, we weep with you, and when there is joy, we will be there to be joyous with you….for now, for this season, this time, we are here for you, …I know I am not alone in saying,I will continue to pray God's peace, God's love, God's comforting arms around you and yours…
      You are right, Kari,….these words are real special and God given,….."God doesn’t always take us out of pain or heartache. Instead, He gives us the grace and everything we need to persevere in heartache (2 Peter 1:3)."….Praising Him for His gift of Grace, and provision of all we need to persevere in heartache… May you always know Gods presence dear heart…with love, Tina…xxx

    • shewalksawesome

      Lots of love and prayers still going out to your family. I’m glad srt had brought you comfort! what a tremendous blessing

    • Kelly_Smith

      I am sorry for your loss, Kari. Praying God's grace gives you everything you need to persevere in heartache.

    • Lyle

      Praying for an overwhelming sense of God’s presence with you as you walk through this time. So very sorry for your loss, Kari.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Kari….you continue to be in my prayers dear one…..Tina's words are echoed in my heart <3

    • Rebekah

      Kari, I missed your post Saturday but wanted to let you know I am praying for you. I have had two miscarriages , one just last month. I wrote down that verse as well today..something amazing to cling to when our heart is broken and we are grieving for our lost babies. I still think about ours everyday and picture two beautiful angel babies playing at Jesus’ feet!

      • Kari

        Thank you for sharing your story with me Rebekah. And you are right, I’ll think of my child everyday. While my heart breaks that so many women know this pain I am also so thankful to know that I am not alone.

    • Hailey

      I have been there as well, right along side of you. It is heart-rending and empties you, even as it gives you an incredible longing for and tie with heaven like no other. Praying you feel the grace He provides you every day, to continue moving, to continue loving, to continue hoping. He is with you. Praying you can just abide and rest in Him, trusting him to direct your day-to-day for you as you heal. Know that He hurts with you and for you.

      I have four children I can't wait to meet one day. In His mysterious, miraculous way, I now have one kiddo God chose to bless us with the privilege of raising here.

      • Kari

        ” It is heart-rending and empties you, even as it gives you an incredible longing for and tie with heaven like no other. ”

        Oh these tender words describe my heart so perfectly.

    • Alicia

      I must have missed you sharing that news on Saturday, but I am so, so sorry that you are enduring that right now. My husband and I miscarried our first child last year (July 6) and I'm still not fully past it, and doubt I ever will be. I'm happy for you, that you are so actively searching and connecting with God during this time. It's not that I didn't have a relationship with God during my loss, but I confess I was much less active in seeking Him than I am now. It is a comfort to know that our sweet babies have already found life with our Father and that one day we will hold them in our arms. If there is one thing God has tried to teach me in my life, it's patience, and I'm still struggling to be patient and trust His perfect timing. I pray for it all the time. I just want you to know you're not alone in your loss. And never feel like you have to stifle your grief for the child you won't get to meet on this earth. You are a blessed mother, and always will be. May God be with you during this time.

  • Alexis C.

    38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. This morning I will be attending a BSF ( Bible Study Fellowship) leaders workshop as we get ready to begin this years study of Revelations. Daniel’s visions have been reminding me of Revelations and the coming months of study. The verses above that stood out for me seemed to really stand out today, we will remain strong in our love and convictions. In our faith.

    • Amber

      Yes Alexis C, I also thought of Revelation study this year while reading Daniel. I stepped out of leadership this year per my husband’s request. As I wrestle with that, I am lifting you and all other leaders up in prayer. Praying God gives you all wisdom as you serve Him and lead so many women and children in His true Word! Praying the love of Christ shines through and remains the main thing!

      • Alexis C.

        Thank you. I will be with the children. Prayers are much appreciated.

    • Ecoughlon

      I hope to attend BSF this year; it might be a little tricky with my schedule . i haven't been for at least 10 years and I am very excited about the Revelation study. Praying for all the leaders as you prepare !

    • Carolyn

      I, too, am anxiously awaiting the start of BSF and the new study this year. This study of Daniel came at such a good time for that. I'm sure we'll be reading much of this again with that study. I never cease to be amazed that, as I learned in the BSF study of Isaiah, in the midst of dire predictions of future events or God's judgments are messages of hope and confirmation of God's love and protection. I can hardly wait to see how God will manage to intertwine the SRT studies of the epistles with the BSF study of Revelation. I have no doubt he will!

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