We have an everlasting hope which gives meaning to our lives and helps us to rise above all the suffering we encounter in our own lives or those of others around us. Long before Jesus came to earth as Messiah, Daniel was given revelation by God of what will happen in the future and an assurance that death is not the end of our existence.
‘At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone whose name is found written in the book – will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge’ (Daniel 12:1-4).
This revelation was not really to be fulfilled for Daniel and the people who lived at that time, but for us, because Daniel was to seal the words of the scroll until the end of time. So what purpose did the words serve to Daniel and his people?
I believe it reassured him that whatever evil arose in the world and caused immense suffering God was working towards a time when perfect justice would reign and God’s people would be delivered. Daniel received a personal message of reassurance in these words; ‘As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance’ (Daniel 12:13).
In the days that we live in, I need this reassurance that all evil will be dealt with and that those whose names are ‘written in the book of life’ will be delivered.’ I know that as soon as I decided to ask Jesus to be my Saviour and Lord my name was written in that book.
As we read the whole of the Bible, particularly the New Testament, it is also clear that we have a commission for what we are to be doing in our lives today. We are to lead many to righteousness and, in contrast to the deep spiritual darkness around us, shine like stars in the brightness of the heavens.
In Philippians 2:15 the apostle Paul encourages the Philippian Christians to shine like stars in the sky as they hold firmly to the Word of life. Then Paul could rejoice and know that all his work amongst them was not in vain as he was in prison facing execution for his faith in the Lord Jesus.
As Matt Redman sings ‘We will shine like stars in the universe, holding out Your truth in the darkest place. We’ll be living for Your glory, Jesus, we’ll be living for Your glory’.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to shine like stars for You so that everyone in darkness can be drawn to Your light and truth and can know how much our heavenly Father loves us. Amen.
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