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Greatly Beloved

One of the fallacies taught by some media evangelists is that those who come to faith in Christ will find that their troubles will evaporate and they will have good health, peace, and prosperity for the rest of their lives. Such teaching is contradictory to Scripture and to our personal experiences.

Daniel suffered deeply during the term of his service for God. The very nature of the service in which he was engaged took a tremendous physical and emotional toll on him. We read, “I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days” (8:27); “I was left alone … and there remained no strength in me” (10:8). These afflictions came upon Daniel, not because of sin, or from the persecution of the world, but from the impact of receiving and imparting the mind of God.

The sufferings of Daniel afford us a unique glimpse into the love and concern of God for His suffering servants. For example, four times we read, “[He] touched me” (8:18; 9:21; 10:10; 10:16), and each touch imparted the strength and comfort that Daniel needed. After the first touch Daniel says, “He set me upright.” After the second touch Daniel received “skill and understanding.” Concerning the fourth touch, Daniel tells us “one like the appearance of a man … strengthened me.” It is a great comfort to know that there is a Man (Jesus) at God’s right hand, and that He is the one who touches us in our time of distress, and who Himself is touched by our sorrows. We read in Hebrews 2:17, “Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God.”

We all need to feel His touch from time to time. There are times in our lives when we are down and needing a lift. Our God is not so uncaring that these things do not come to His notice. In the infinite tenderness of His love, He allows us to feel His touch, and we find ourselves renewed and refreshed for the battle again.

—Condensed from Daniel: Godly Living In A Hostile World by William Burnett.