“For you are greatly loved.” –Daniel 9:23
These are the most powerful words that can be spoken. And here they came as words from heaven to a man named Daniel. Daniel lived in a time when God’s people were in great distress. They had rebelled against God and turned away from his commands. They didn’t listen. They refused to obey. And now they were under the punishment of God.
But Daniel prayed. He cried out to God for mercy. He fasted and prayed. He confessed his sins and the sins of his people. And it’s here that these beautiful words break through for while he was praying God sent the angel Gabriel with a message for Daniel. This heavenly messenger who came in swift flight speaks to Daniel, a man in anguish, saying:
“At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved.”
What a wave of grace must have washed over Daniel in that moment. No matter what he had done, no matter how dark the sins of his people, God still loved him. This good news must have filled his soul like a deep breath of mountain air. These words must have illuminated the discouragement within the way a flash of lightning makes everything visible. Like a gentle morning rain on a thirsty ground, this message from God must have refreshed Daniel’s inner being.
For you are greatly loved. What would change in your life if you heard those magnificent words from heaven? What fears would be run out? What worry would disappear? What strivings in your life would cease? What new strength would emerge in your heart if only you knew and believed that you are great loved?
Not a little love from a small lover, but a great love from an infinite God. A love that never changes. A love that never fades. A love from which you cannot be separated. A love you can never lose. A love you did not earn and a love you cannot buy. The love of God, how rich and pure, how measureless and strong. This was the love spoken to Daniel that day. And this is the love God still speaks to you.
For you are greatly loved.