From time to time, all of us wonder if we are truly loved by anyone. Sometimes we need reminders how much God Himself loves us. If you’ve ever felt that way, if you feel that way now … I’m here to tell you that you are not alone. The strongest believers sometimes need encouragement that they are deeply loved by God.
Even Daniel–who served before kings interpreting their dreams, who was tossed into the lion’s den and rescued by an angel–still needed reassurance of God’s love for him.
Daniel served the kings of Babylon for most of his life. One day while studying Jeremiah’s prophecies, he learned that his people would be in captivity for seventy years. Daniel understood that everything Jeremiah prophesied was happening before his very eyes. With deep sorrow, he prayed a beautiful prayer–aligning himself with Israel and her sinful heart toward God–and begged for mercy (Daniel 9:1-19). Read his prayer. You’ll see the broken state of his heart.
Then, God sent the angel Gabriel with a special message.
I went on praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people, pleading with the Lord my God for Jerusalem, his holy mountain. As I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came swiftly to me at the time of the evening sacrifice. He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God.” (Daniel 9: 20-23) [Emphasis added]
Daniel was utterly broken before God over the sin of his people. But the moment he began praying, God sent Gabriel to comfort him.
This wasn’t the only time Daniel needed God-given comfort. Two years later, Daniel received another vision. As a result, he became physically weak and faint. Once again, God sent an angel to comfort him.
And the man said to me, DDaniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling.
Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.” (Daniel 10:11-12) [Emphasis added]
The moment Daniel began to pray, God sent an answer, along with a word of love just for him. But even that wasn’t enough. A few moments later, Daniel is weak with anguish, barely able to breathe. God knew that Daniel needed to hear it again. So He graciously provided.
Then the one who looked like a man touched me again, and I felt my strength returning. “Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” (Daniel 10:18-19) [Emphasis added]
Three times God sent a messenger to affirm His love for Daniel.
YOU are very precious to God!
Guess what. You, too, are very precious to God!You are very precious to God!
Even though you may be physically and emotionally depleted, let your heart be strengthened in knowing that you are loved by God.
How do we know God loves us?
Let me count the ways …
The Bible is filled with messages of God’s love for us. Here are a few.
- He leads us with kindness and gentleness (Hosea 11:4).
- He gives us fulfilling work (Ephesians 2:10; John 10:10).
- He provides rest and refreshment for our weariness (Psalm 23:2).
- We are never alone (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5).
- He walks with us through deep suffering (Isaiah 43:2).
- He sacrificed is one and only Son so we could live forever with Him (John 3:16; 1 John 3:16).
- He sings over us with unrestrained delight (Zephaniah 3:17).
Even with these Scriptures and many hundreds more, the Apostle Paul’s great prayer for the saints was that we would know and understand the depth and breadth of God’s love for us.
I pray that … your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. (Ephesians 3:17-19)
Paul wanted us to know that absolutely nothing in the world can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39).
God loves you, my friend. You may be new in your faith and wondering if that decision you made to follow Christ really stuck. It does, because God’s love is strong for you. You may be a veteran believer of many years. You know God loves you. You’ve studied it. Maybe you’ve even taught it. But right now you’re going through some really tough stuff, and that knowledge seems far away.
God is not.
No matter where you are … know … you are loved by God. You are precious in His eyes.