“2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. 3 I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.” Daniel 10:2 (all scriptures from the ESV translation)
8 So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength.” Daniel 10:8
18 Again one having the appearance of a man touched me and strengthened me. 19 And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”” Daniel 10:18-19
Pastor Chris encouraged all of us who are weary of the struggle by sharing the difficulties Daniel experienced. His vision during Cyrus’ reign was a wake-up call for the people of Judah. At 85 yrs. old, hesaw in the unseen realm the war against God’s people. He experienced grief, a lament that consumed him. He sought the Lord’s help and God sent hope through the angelic messengers Gabriel and Michael.
Let Jesus be your focus during the hour of your struggle. Ask for the ministering help of His angels and their protection in the heavenlies on your behalf. Yet, keep your Savior at the center and you will know in your spirit confidence in the victory to come.1. The Unseen Realm – we are reminded to be aware of the natural and supernatural at work in our lives every day, challenging and strengthening
“1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict. And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision.” Daniel 10:1
Daniel 10:2–3 (ESV)
2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. 3 I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.
“The American church avoids lament. The power of lament is minimized and the underlying narrative of suffering that requires lament is lost. But absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. Absence makes the heart forget. The absence of lament in the liturgy of the American church results in the loss of memory. We forget the necessity of lamenting over suffering and pain. We forget the reality of suffering and pain.” Soong-Chan Rah, author of “Prophetic Lament”
What is the Process of Biblical Lament?1. Allow yourself to feel – but, not self-pity2. Process pain in the present and fear of the future3. Grieve your involvement and shed your victim mindset4. Empathize with others who are hurting – bear their burden to help them find healing5. Work through the cycle of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, and Thanksgiving6. Escape a religious response2. Seeing the Unseen – when we come face-to-face with the heavenly goodness of our Savior, we will be overwhelmed and our physical body will faint and tremble,
4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that is, the Tigris) 5 I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. 6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude. 7 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. 8 So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. 9 Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground. And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.
The Role of Angels Today: • Angels give praise to God. • Angels are messengers from God. • Angels protect believers. • Angels strengthen and comfort believers. • Angels carry out God’s judgment. • Angels help transition believers into eternity3. Persevere in Pain – it takes sincere faith to endure the pain toward the victory God promises
“11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.
“There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine they are guilty of themselves … it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” C.S. Lewis4. Persevere in Prayer – Daniel shows us the intensity of a 21-day fasting and prayer time to reveal the answer for what God wants to do in and through us1. Faith – it takes sincere trust in God to see what God wants us to see2. Desires – our longings are aligned with those of God’s heart, that’s how our prayers change3. Heavenlies – the realms of the world and the spirit are continually at war
“13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, 14 and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.” 15When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and was mute. 16And behold, one in the likeness of the children of man touched my lips. Then I opened my mouth and spoke. I said to him who stood before me, “O my lord, by reason of the vision pains have come upon me, and I retain no strength. 17 How can my lord’s servant talk with my lord? For now no strength remains in me, and no breath is left in me.”
“The trumpet still plays the notes of war. You cannot sit down and put the victory wreath on your head. You do not have a crown. You still must wear the helmet and carry the sword. You must watch, pray, and fight.” C.H. Spurgeon
Daniel 10:18–21 (ESV)
18 Again one having the appearance of a man touched me and strengthened me. 19 And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” 20 Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come. 21 But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince.
Discussion Questions1. Why do you suppose God encourages us to lament, to grieve over something in the supernatural?2. Why might we become overwhelmed, even collapse, in an encounter with God through a vision, an angelic visitation, or a prophetic dream?3. What do you think most of the church at-large thinks about angels? What sort of role have angels had your life and walk with God?4. What might be the most difficult aspect for believers of living daily in both the seen and unseen realms?5. What are some ways Daniel shows us how we should react to pain and struggle in life?
Application Questions1. Ask the Lord to reveal himself to you for a struggle you are facing. Be prepared for the answer to come in a vision, visitation, or victorious confidence in your spirit!2. Consider a Daniel fast for 21-days to find breakthrough in your circumstance. Commit to participating in the all-church fast in January.
3 Questions to Ponder for the Entire Series in Daniel 1. Who or what is supreme in your life? 2. Does your life portray this? 3. What spirit are you following?