This morning our dear Pastor Bob Smart preached another excellent sermon on Daniel. For those of you who'd like to hear his powerful Christ-centered handling of the Word, you can go to http://www.christchurchpca.org/ and download his podcasts.
I say Yes and Amen to his point about God's love. In Daniel Chapter 10, Daniel mourned for three weeks (v.2) about a great war that was to come. His vision terrified and overwhelmed him so he had no strength left (v.9). He was interacting w/ a messenger about the revelation and several times the messenger called him "you who are highly esteemed"(NIV version). In some other versions this same phrase is translated "you who are loved."
Pastor Bob said our experience often leads us to question God's love, but that God's Word is our greater authority. We lose our identity for a time, feel like a stranger or orphan, but there's no question we are loved - His Word and the way He works in our hearts give us all the evidence we need.
It's hard to process God's personal love for us in the midst of pain. Sometimes if it's an accumulative thing over a period of years, we may feel like we're being picked on or bullied or maybe just forgotten. Yet we know that's not God's character. There has to be another reality at work. Rather than saying "Why me" it's better to say "why NOT me". If God truly loves me and is allowing this to happen, the conclusion I must come to is that He wants to love me through it and fulfill His perfect will for me in it. We may be tempted to think God is withdrawing His love for a time, but as Stephen Curtis Chapman reminds us we are ALWAYS being loved, "right now at this very moment", no matter what. If we're God's child His love is a constant. There are times when He may be silent, but that doesn't remove His love. We may be in a time of testing, but that's just PROOF of His love. Everything comes back to love. The cross proves it, and as we see the weightiness of the cross and look to the One who suffered for us, we begin to grasp how our own suffering has meaning. He's calling us to give of ourselves, just as He did. To put our own agenda on hold and let Him grow us up, so to speak.
So yes and amen to the final authority of the Word - God is continually loving us through each step of our journey.