Daniel 8:15-27 (NRSV)
Signs of the end times
When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I tried to understand it. Then someone appeared standing before me, having the appearance of a man, and I heard a human voice by the Ulai, calling, "Gabriel, help this man understand the vision." So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I became frightened and fell prostrate. But he said to me, "Understand, O mortal, that the vision is for the time of the end."
As he was speaking to me, I fell into a trance, face to the ground; then he touched me and set me on my feet. He said, "Listen, and I will tell you what will take place later in the period of wrath; for it refers to the appointed time of the end. As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia. The male goat is the king of Greece, and the great horn between its eyes is the first king. As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power.
At the end of their rule,
when the transgressions have reached their full measure,
a king of bold countenance shall arise,
skilled in intrigue.
He shall grow strong in power,
shall cause fearful destruction,
and shall succeed in what he does.
He shall destroy the powerful
and the people of the holy ones.
By his cunning
he shall make deceit prosper under his hand,
and in his own mind he shall be great.
Without warning he shall destroy many
and shall even rise up against the Prince of princes.
But he shall be broken, and not by human hands.
The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true. As for you, seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now."
So I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days; then I arose and went about the king's business. But I was dismayed by the vision and did not understand it.
Today’s scripture speaks to me very profoundly. It reminds me of an expression I learned growing up in African American community. I used to hear the old folks say, “Trouble don’t last always.”
This expression is a reminder that although we may face hardship, pain, tears, terror, or injustice, it cannot last forever. The Bible has a similar expression. It says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5)!”
Now, I’m sure there are many of us who have gone to bed weeping and woken up weeping as well! (grin) So, I am sure that we know that this scripture does not always need to be interpreted to mean in one night and one day. Sometimes we have seasons of sadness, depression, or grief, but ultimately if we keep on living in the Light of God, our joy returns.
As I survey the newspaper, internet, television, and radio I am dismayed by how much transgression, destruction, cunning, and deceit is rampant in our world. As human beings we have great capacity to be lustful, greedy, envious, and prideful to our own detriment!
Furthermore, it is easy to look at the strong, powerful, rich, and influential people in our world, who are taking advantage of us “little folks” and feel very disempowered and small.
It would not be difficult to work ourselves into such a stew of dismay that we give up hope, but that would be very, very short-sighted.
Although there are many immoral and powerful people who abuse and take advantage of the weak, God is stronger than them all! Scripture promises that even the most vile, evil, and cunning amongst us will “be broken and not by human hands.”
God is at work in our world and God has great appreciation for people who do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God.
Jesus faced a lot of very smart, influential, and powerful adversaries. They did everything they could to discredit and destroy him. Ultimately, they falsely accused and executed him for crimes he did not commit. It looked like all hope was lost and that the “bad guys” had won.
But, early Sunday morning, God proved that “trouble don’t last always” and that even the power of the most evil one can be broken.
On that day, Jesus was resurrected with all power in his hands. He overcame sin, death, and the grave because God’s love chose to allow him to die on the cross, to save us from our sin, gift us with eternal life and raise him in victory!
As we put all of our hope in Jesus, we put all of our faith in God’s promise that better days are always on the horizon. Unless we look up into the sky and see Jesus’ feet descending, nothing that we are facing is the end of the world, my friends! (smile)
We can endure! We can overcome! We will emerge victorious!
As Christians we know that this is so because we live in the light of resurrection morning! We know that no-thing is impossible for God!
Today, let us look all of our troubles square in the face and tell them, “My God says, trouble don’t last always. I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus who loves me!”
Then let us step into our day with joy bells ringing. The best is yet to come!
If you would like to put all of your hope in Jesus today full of the assurance that trouble don’t last always, please pray with me:
God, sometimes my trouble seems so big and I feel so small. Please help me to know—and believe—that you are bigger than any trial that may befall me. I love you and I know that I am loved by you too! Thank you for allowing your Love to give Jesus to die on the cross to save me from my sin and gift me with eternal life. I believe that Jesus died and rose again on the third day! Please forgive me of my sin and fill me with the Holy Spirit so that I will be empowered to share your good news everywhere that I go. Thank you for making me a victor and not a victim! I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you just prayed that prayer for the first time, today, you are saved! Let me encourage you to tell a Christian friend that you just put all of your hope in Jesus. Ask him or her to help you find a Bible that is easy for you to understand and to find a good Bible believing church where you can be baptized and make new friends who will walk with you on your Christian journey!
I would be honored if you would let me know about your decision today by clicking "YES" in the poll located in the upper-right hand corner of the good news blog in answer to the question, "Did God save you today?"
Congratulations and Happy Re-birthday! Your salvation is our GOOD NEWS, please go and share the GOOD NEWS with others!