TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Daniel 12:1-13
BOTTOM LINE: God’s Word not just INFORMATION … it’s TRANSFORMATION … it’s changing our life! And it’s worth it all!
QUESTION: How Does Daniel’s Story Change Our Life?
So What? How Does What Daniel Shares w/ us Speak Into or Shape How We Live our Life? How much of my life looks like Jesus as a result of what I’ve heard and read and learned?
Daniel has shared all throughout this letter these prophecies that God instructed him to share, and they ALL came true. Once again giving us this incredible validity to the divine authorship of this book. It’s God’s Manual for us.
We read it … I preach thru it … some of us spend time in it throughout the week …and Daniel’s story here gives us this incredible story of one who’s complete faith, and complete confidence was in God’s Word.
And yet, is the result of his story leading us to a similar place?
And I’ve got 3 struggles here to remind us about:
- Learn to Be Content With Questions
God shares what He chooses to share, and I rest knowing that’s sufficient! God’s given us all we need to begin the journey thru the Life, Death & Resurrection of His Son, Jesus.
And we’re always going to have questions that remain unanswered. Bottom line, God hasn’t revealed all things to us has He? Why Not?
Jack Nicholson says, You want the Truth? You can’t Handle the Truth!
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where God decides to place me. How He decides to reveal His Glory and paint His Story thru my life, it’s really not for me to question.
So, when God’s doing something in our lives, and we can’t see for the fog, we lean into God’s Presence … and God’s Strength … and His Grace … and we remind ourselves that is sufficient.
- Embrace the Anguish
Daniel is told a couple things here that don’t sound fun at all:
- Many will be Purified, made Holy and Refined. This paint the image of a refiner of Gold putting the impure ore into a crucible, and heating it to over 1900 degrees … and scraping off the impurities. Imagine if we’re the Gold and God is the Refiner. Daniel gets word that the wicked would receive their reward, which we already knew.
- Jesus says that we are blessed if we wait patiently, enduring Suffering.
Sometimes I even forget …
- Anger is a Sin
- Pride is a Sin
- Greed is a sin
- Self-Centeredness is a Sin
- Materialism is a Sin
… all this stuff is Sin that can be exposed in incredible ways in our season of Pain.
BUT, God will Purify us … and Pierce us … and Break us … and when we get to look back at some point in the rear-view mirror, we know God’s hand was upon us. Even though in the moment, sometimes my tears might blind me from seeing it!
The more God’s Word becomes more and more a part of who we are, we Embrace the Suffering that comes, and we thank God for the Thorns in our lives, so that His Glory might be on display.
- Remember the Resurrection
Rather than being overwhelmed w/ this FEAR about how it seems like our world is on this downward spiral, as Followers of Jesus, we can almost Long for it.
We REST knowing we have a God who Loves us.
Because of the Resurrection of Jesus, we can hold onto is that our present sacrifice can be sustained by the hope and promise of a future reward!
Our HOPE is not in the things of this world! Our INHERITANCE is in the next .. and that’s why we can thank God for the thorns right?
We know the Joys and Pleasures in this life are not even worthy to be compared to the Coming Joy. God’s Word says we will have rewards unspeakable and JOY full of Glory, If we have sacrificed our life and the goods to further the Kingdom of God. That will somewhere most likely include a season of Pain … and Suffering … but we can suffer well!
The RESURRECTION allowed us to receive a glorified body, and we can’t even truly comprehend the Joy we will experience every moment in God’s presence.
We won’t be overwhelmed by the Absence of Pain… but the Pure Joy of being w/ Him!
And guess what … the world is looking for an example!
They will want to know how we can find JOY, how we can literally even have a part of excited about the Pain and Suffering at times. They’ll want to know why we’re rejoicing when Bad Things happen.
And the answer is … that this world is NOT our HOME.