The DEEP

Encouragement

He won't leave you hanging.

Daniel 10:15–19

When he had spoken such words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless. And suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to him who stood before me, “My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength. For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me.

Then again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me. And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!”

So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”

The vision of heavenly warfare is greatly terrifying. Daniel knows that the forces involved are way beyond human comprehension, much less susceptible to human action. The realization of how powerless he is overwhelms Daniel. He can hardly speak.

“For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me.”

Then the angel strengthens Daniel, but notice how he does it—first with a touch, then with words. I’d expect the touch to scare the pants off Daniel, but it has the exact opposite effect. That’s curious because the presence of holiness is always terrifying, and I’d expect it to be more terrifying as it got closer. But contact erases that. The touch shows that the touch doesn’t kill you. That’s got to be comforting.

The angel’s words confirm this. “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” Daniel is told, “You’re loved, don’t fear, shalom be upon you, and be strong.”

That’s a pretty cool message coming from an angel.


Serious service to the Lord is going to put us into fearsome situations. That’s when we’ll need encouragement.

But here’s the trick question — “When was the last time you prayed for encouragement?” Has the idea of asking the Lord to encourage you or to comfort you ever even crossed your mind?

Not me. I pray for the Lord to give encouragement, comfort, and shalom to others, but never for myself.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” — Deuteronomy 31:6

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” — Hebrews 13:5

One thing you can count on, the Lord will not leave you hanging out to dry.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

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All the weekly study guides, which include all the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.