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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Palm tree grove on the Atlantic
Palm tree grove in Myrtle Beach South Carolina

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"Your Words Are Heard"

"Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them"  (Daniel 10:12).

Yesterday I received a short email message informing me that a friend's mother had passed away after a long illness. I called him last night and we shared over the phone for a few minutes. She had a stroke eight years ago which left her in a bedridden state ever since. Of course my friend had prayed for his mother often throughout this period; initially he prayed for her healing, but over time when that prayer was not realized he redirected his prayer to that of asking God to release her from her permanent physical affliction that she might be taken home.

When I speak of "unanswered prayer" many of you personally know what I mean; both in theory and in practice. We've all had needs that we prayed for and the outcome was not as we had desired or the answer was delayed for what seemed to be an agonizing length of time.  I realize that some will take issue with the word "unanswered," but from our limited, human perspective that's the way it seems.  And still other prayers were answered in ways we never would have imagined as God was powerfully working during the wait in ways we could not see with the physical eye.

Today's verse has a powerful word of encouragement.  A severe crisis had been revealed to Daniel.  Instead of responding to this potential disaster by immediately picking up a pen and pad and writing down his "to do" list he directed his heart toward God.  He set his mind to gain understanding and humbled himself before His Father in heaven.

Notice these words, "Since the first day… your words were heard."  What an assurance that brings!  There was delay; there was temporal uncertainty which often makes one fearful or nervous, but God heard Daniel's words from the first day and he saw the fear in his heart.   Thus He spoke forth a compassionate command to calm Daniel's anxious thoughts, "Do not be afraid, Daniel."  This command is repeated often in Scripture and its message brings great assurance.

Daniel's attitude and actions, in response to the crisis at hand, is instructive for each of us today: "You set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God."  Daniel's example of surrendering both his mind and heart to the Lord was the key to remaining grounded in his faith as he waited upon God for instruction.  This is also important for us today as we undergo prolonged trials.

What are you dealing with today?  What great trial is before you or someone you care about?  Are you praying about it, as you set your mind to gain understanding and as you humble yourself before Almighty God?

Be assured today that God is not too busy nor is He neglecting you. He does hear you!  Are you also hearing His word of instruction today?  He is interested in more than just answering your prayer, but also deepening your understanding and shaping your attitude to reflect that of the One who gave His all us.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, in the midst of our trials may the problem at hand not be the single focus of our prayers.  Help us to seek You for godly understanding and patient endurance, so that our lives are spiritually maturing in the process of waiting upon You to answer our prayers.  May seeking You be our primary focus in fulfillment of Christ's command in Matthew 6:33, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto You." In His precious name we pray, Amen.

God Will Take Care of You
No matter what may be the test
God will take care of you
Lean weary one upon His breast
God will take care of you.

God will take care of you
Through every day, o'er all the way
God will take care of you,
God will take care of you.

Dixie medal
Last night we received free tickets to "The Dixie Stampede".  We really enjoyed the dinner show and Stephen especially had a memorable experience.  We'll tell you what he was selected to do during the show that made him a champion for the North in tomorrow's message.

Today's Suggested Music and
Supplemental Resources

We do not have access to the internet in our room where we are staying this week. I normally seek to find audio files of specific songs that relate to the message but am unable to do that this week.  We are walking down to a coffee shop that has wireless internet to send the message out. So all through this week we will share two playlists that have an assortment of music.

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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