How Can I Know the Bible is Really True?

Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O Lord, according to thy lovingkindness.  Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. Psalm 119: 159-160

Throughout the book of Daniel, we have seen God miraculously protect and preserve the nation of Israel throughout the years of captivity. There was always a remnant of faithful believers such as Daniel who fervently worshiped God and prayed for the people. It had been throughout centuries that the people of Israel would waiver; often, rebellious and stiff necked toward God. With pride filled arrogance, they would seek after their own desires. There had been great leaders such as Hezekiah and Josiah who would lead the nation into revival; only, for the people to shortly thereafter, turn once more to idle worship under a new corrupt leader. Whom we choose to be a leader for our nation is also of grave importance. If we choose  corrupt leaders, we will become a corrupt nation.

Also, throughout the book of Daniel we have seen God reveal future events to His servant Daniel. Each revelation came with increasing detail concerning the events that would occur over the coming years. I am certain that this was an act of Grace by Almighty God, not to reveal more than Daniel was prepared to handle. So, it is that we have now come to Chapter 11 of Daniel. This revelation came in the third year of Cyrus, King of Persia. This would have been 537 B.C. Daniel wrote down these prophecies long before their occurrences; yet, with great detail as we can now look back at history and confirm.

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How to Know Hope When Facing Trials in the World

Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. And now will I shew thee the truth. Daniel 11:1-2

The messenger of God is standing before Daniel prepared to give Daniel a detailed account of events that are to come for the nation of Israel. The future includes years of tribulation and sorrow. There will be moments of severe distress for the nation before the time when God establishes His Kingdom on earth. The messenger begins with: 1. God is in control and 2. I will show you truth.

 

When heartbreak, trials, suffering, uncertainty all are before us; we need to know that very same message. We need to know that God is in Control and He will tell us truth. God has never said, “Everything is going to be easy here on earth. Follow me! I will give to you: health, wealth and success.” No, quite the contrary, He has said,

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. I Peter 4:12-13

Throughout my life, I have learned to hold tight to these two truths with all my heart and soul.

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The Love Of A Child

And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2-4

God has so richly blessed my love with the wonderful children and grandchildren He has given me.  Their love is abounding and free, full of grace and mercy.  Their laughter and love of life is abounding.  It is no wonder Jesus said we must become like these little children to be saved.  We must open our hearts toward Him with that same awe, wonder, trust and love that children have.

The Love of a Child

By Effie Darlene Barba

 

There is nothing quite like

The love of a child

The sparkle of wonder

The laughter so wild

 

With perfect delight

They understand grace

And never are bothered

By age, weight or race

 

So quick to reach out

Their arms open wide

To share of their joy

To sit by your side

 

No wonder the Lord

Bid us to be

More like a child

With hearts full of glee

 

Gracious with love

Eyes open to see

His gift from above

To set our hearts free

 

Blessed and beloved

Way above measure

That I be His child

And He be my treasure

There is no love more freely given, rich with grace; than the love of a child. Click To Tweet

If each of us could embrace God's love with that same wonder, faith and awe of a child. Click To Tweet

©Effie Darlene Barba, 2016

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Can Joy Really Win On the Battlefields of Life?

 

In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. Daniel 10:1-3 NKJV

 

In this life we face struggles, trials and devastating tragedies at times which tear at our hearts. When we look at all the tragedies surrounding us, we weep for those who are hurting. Devastating floods, angry mobs, corruption, terrorist attacks, poverty, cancer, and the unending list of battlefields surrounding our hearts and minds. What can we possibly do? Is joy something we should even hope for? Desire? Can we over shadow all the pain by clinging tight to joys of this world? Can we drown ourselves in success, money, things, friends, pleasures and trivialities to pretend that our heart does not ache? Or is there a different steadfast joy and hope on which we can cling to in the middle of this battlefield called life? An ember of joy that cannot and will not be destroyed. A tiny ember of joy living and abiding deep within the heart of each believer. That ember of joy, anchored tight to Jesus Christ, does not  allow our ship to crash when life’s storms crash around us.

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How to Have Joy and Hope By Understanding Truth

At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore, consider the matter, and understand the vision: “Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy. Daniel 9: 23-24 NKJV

There are times when we are fervently in prayer that we long to know the answer. We want to know that our feeble cries have been heard. We want to know that God not only hears; but, acts on our behalf. How comforting to read these words, “at the beginning of your supplications the command went out.” There was no delay in God commanding his angel Gabriel to go and reveal to Daniel that his prayers had been heard. There is no delay in God hearing our cries either. What was the first words from his lips, “I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved”. Greatly beloved. Are those not the sweetest words to our ears when we are facing trials? To know that I am greatly beloved by God. I am His Beloved Child! Secondly, the angel said, “consider the matter and understand the vision.” Perhaps the second greatest words when in the middle of the storms of life. God comes to comfort, to guide, and to help us understand the trial. Note, Gabriel did not immediate remove Daniel from captivity nor the people; but, he did come to help Daniel see the bigger picture. The gospel story that would come. He also helped Daniel to see the final victorious end of the story.

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How to Overcome Anger and Terror On Our Knees

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Daniel 9:1-5

Although a captive, Daniel had been placed in a position where he served the King of Babylon, his successor and now was held in a high position even with the Medes. In part, due to his humility of heart. He had the heart of a servant—first and foremost toward God and then toward those whom God had placed over him. He did not fear them; because, he trusted God. He did not rebel, riot or try to incite discontent when the pagan King would declare edicts that went against God. Instead, Daniel would with a gentle voice say, “I will follow God first.” At risk of death, he refused to eat the foods that had been presented to idols. Knowing that he would be thrown into the Den of Lions for praying, he prayed anyway. He did not fear what man could do to him. He served God first with all his heart. Then, from that same heart of a servant he served those whom God had placed in authority over him.

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The Cry of Rejection

My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

Of all the emotions that we feel, perhaps those feelings of loneliness, rejection, or just somehow not being “good” enough to really be loved are among the most devastating of all.  Those feelings can leave us reeling with pain that tears at our heart, spirit and soul.  Add to that the factor that we live as a broken vessel amidst a broken world, life can send our heart quickly spiraling downward in an instant.  One unkind word, the rejection by a friend, divorce, failure, a loss job, and the list goes on as to those things that cut deep the wounds that were already present.  For me, I cannot tell you when I first recognized this frailty within myself; because, it has been there since I can first remember.  Perhaps my thorn in the flesh.  It in some ways has always been the driving force that never let me be fully satisfied with today’s accomplishments.  Being my lifelong companion, one would think I would always have it mastered.  Instead, I have come to find it as God’s refining tool for me. Whenever those feelings make their attack upon my heart,  I have learned to draw even tighter into God’s arms and lean upon His chest. I spend the day reflecting, growing, listening to an audio book and just waiting for God’s answer.  Over the years, I have learned that God’s steadfast joy may be dampened in those moments into a smoldering ember; but, will quickly reignite into flames as I spend the day talking to Him.  Friday, was such a day of feeling as though I would drown within my own feelings of inadequacy; but, Saturday.  He renewed me through prayer and listening to “Uninvited” by Lysa TerKeurst.  God reminded me of how truly loved I am by Him.  He reminded me how blessed I am in Him. And He gave me this poem for you; whomever you are that needs to hear these words today.  God loves you.  God is always Good. God wants to hold you cradled in His Arms while He sings love songs over you.   Whatever your frailty, He will be your strength in it.  I know He is mine.

The Cry of Rejection

By Effie Darlene Barba

 

The sound of their words

What they had said

Repeatedly playing sad tunes in my head

The Scars from my past

The sorrows, regret

Like sirens whose blaring I could not forget

 

In darkness, alone

My heart’s cry does long

To desperately feel somewhere I belong

To know I am loved

To make my appeal

Rejection the thought that seemed all too real

 

It wasn’t their fault

How could they have known?

The scars I hid deep and never had shown

The secrets of heart

That longed to be found

That they might be healed by love to abound

 

The counterfeit lies

Were just a mistake

Like shattering glass my heart then to break

Oh, where is the truth

In a Dark, broken world

Where sorrows and pain are relentlessly hurled

 

The sin of man’s pride

Has taken its toll

Wreaking havoc on each and every dear soul

Yet, if truth then be told

Beneath all our will

Is a void that only God’s love can refill!

 

His Love reached beyond

The abyss we had crossed

He never considered it too great a cost

To accept the rejection

Of man toward His Son

Who in His despair our victory was won!

 

Unworthy though I

He loved me the same

And called me as His by my very name

To be loved as His child

He is all that I need

In Him to be known and truly be freed

 

Freed from desires

Of counterfeit things

From trinkets and toys or frivolous flings

Grounded, secured

In God’s loving arms

Freed from the lure of all this world’s charms

 

As He draws me near

To sit for a while

Enwrapped with His joy, I truly can smile

My worries all fade

As in Him I belong

My heart can now sing a joyous love song

Don’t let your feelings of rejection become your identity. In Christ you are Beautifully Beloved. Click To Tweet

Picture used by permission: https://unsplash.com/@sebamolinafotos  Inscription was added by me.

©Effie Darlene Barba, 2016

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

A Vision Come True is the Hope for Our World

And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.Daniel 8:15-17

 

When I embarked on this series through the book of Daniel, I had felt God drawing me to just this task. Each step of the way, I have prayed earnestly for His guidance to reveal His truth to me and to you my readers. “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him” (Proverbs 30:5). As we reach Chapter 8 in this series, at first glance it appeared the same vision of the future of the Jewish nation being shown with a few minor details being added to present parts of the vision with greater clarity. Yet, at closer examination and with a lot of prayer; I began to see the miraculous way in which God was reminding us not to lose hope even when everything around us appears hopeless.

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Where Is Hope Found When Darkness Invades Our World?

Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations (deepest thoughts, contemplations) much troubled me, and my countenance (mental composure) changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart. Daniel 7:28

Daniel had been God’s instrument as the interpreter of dreams for Nebuchadnezzar. His faithfulness despite being a captive had lead him to a place of position within the courts of King Nebuchadnezzar, ruler over Babylon. Ultimately, King Nebuchadnezzar worshipped God. Then, came his grandson, Belshazzar, who had no respect for God. During a lavish drunken, sensual party; God wrote upon the walls those fateful words of Weighed, found wanting, and dissected as the army of the Medes easily took over the Babylonian empire fulfilling the next historical phase prophesied to King Nebuchadnezzar in his dream many years before. After Daniel told us of this historical event in Chapter 5 followed by the events in his own life under Darius in Chapter 6 that lead to Darius worshipping God; he now in chapter 7 reflects back to a prophetic dream that God had given to Daniel.

As, Daniel begins chapter 7, he writes “in the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon, I had a dream”. He saw the winds blowing over the Mediterranean Sea and beasts that would come out of the sea, each different and each one devouring the one before. Each beast was more frightening and more ferocious  in nature until,

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How to Really Overcome the Jaws of Pride and Jealousy

Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth Daniel 6:25-27

Jealousy, Pride and Self-Exaltation are at the center of the human heart. It is that which separates us from the sweet communion with God. It is what cuts wounds so deep that we cannot know the truest of joy in our relationship with God or others. It not only is the poison within our own heart. It is at the center of the turmoil placed upon us by the world that surrounds us.

So, it was for Daniel as well who would find himself thrown deep into the pit of lions because of the jealousy, pride and the self-exalting hearts of those who surrounded him. Despite his being placed into captivity at a young age with his manhood stripped from him, Daniel had risen to a position of respect both within the courts of King Nebuchadnezzar and later under King Darius of the Medes after they had invaded and overtook Babylon. That in itself is remarkable! When another country takes seize of a former government, one would suspect that they would not wish to keep in high regard officials from the original government. Yet, Daniel was highly respected even by this new Monarch. Perhaps it was Daniels humility, grace, and wisdom that they noted, all learned by his constant devotion to studying Gods word and through his dedication to prayer. Daniel never ceased to pray three times every day.

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