Get Stronger

So we have just been told about the third campaign of Antiochus IV, who is the man known as the "little horn" in the prophecy from Daniel chapter 8. He is in the process of completely removing the name of God and his teachings from the culture. But we learn there are a few who won't cave to his flattery, legislation, threats, and violence. But he's both persuasive and unrelenting, so he goes after weak-minded followers first and lures them away. He makes it illegal to gather, worship, and engage in religious practices. And to top it off, he seizes their temple, sets up a statue of Zeus, and performs recurring swine sacrifices on the temple grounds. But we discover a few who stand firm, take action, read scripture, and suffer well. But the following few verses declare this does not last for long. Verses 34-35 read:

When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time. — Daniel 11:34-35

Reading this part is heartbreaking. I assume when Daniel heard it, he was devasted. But we learn something important that I believe followers need to hear.

True believers will sometimes suffer persecution and death for their faith at the hands of wicked people. The purpose of this whole event with Antiochus IV was to cleanse God's people and make them stronger. In fact, when all this ended at the death of Antiochus IV in 164 B.C., it did something significant during his ten-year reign he did not intend. While it divided the weak it made a small remnant very strong inside the community of God.

These events have similarities to our experiences over the last two to three years. We have seen those weak in their faith vacate the church with no intention of returning. At the same time, we have seen the strong dig in and fight a little harder for their faith. And I am not talking about fighting for our political views or national rights. I am talking about fighting to know, understand, trust, and believe that God is stronger than any challenge we will ever face, that it will end, and that he will come again.

I believe that's my call. To strengthen you with scripture by driving you to the teaching of the Bible so that you will know Jesus in changing and challenging times. So fellas, let's stay in the game by standing firm, taking action, reading scripture, and suffering well. Because it does eventually all come to an end, and I want you to be ready for that day.

ASK THIS: Are you stronger in your faith today than you were two to three years ago?

DO THIS: Share how you are stronger in the comments below.

PRAY THIS: God, help me to seize the opportunities you give me to be stronger in my faith daily.

PLAY THIS: Stronger.

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11 thoughts on “Get Stronger

  1. Mark says:

    Thank you Vince for your ministry and your daily challenge through scripture and your work to make us better men, better Christians and to strengthen us in our walk with the Lord. I know that today I am much stronger than I was about 1 1/2 years ago when God led me to your daily devotionals. I praise God daily for His work in my life and in the lives of all of us who come here daily for our time in His word through you. Thank you for challenging me to be better man!

  2. Kurt says:

    I believe physical strength is an important aspect of spiritual strength. I’ve lost 50 lbs. over the last year, started doing some weight training, and my mindset on the scriptures and my walk is so much better. Without all the processed garbage and the excess carbohydrates my brain fog is gone! I don’t know about you but when I feel “puny”,I think and process God’s word “puny”. Now I gotta go eat a steak!

  3. Jeff Falley says:

    I believe that I am not as fearful as I once was about being truly forgiven for my pass sins. I need to rely on grace and mercy each day, which is hard to wrap my head around. I know do not lean on my own understanding.

  4. John says:

    My faith is stronger today than 3 years ago. Being unemployed from my main work for 2 years, which involved lots aways from home now give me an opportunity to get involved in church. I became a youth leader and along with getting to know stronger leaders in the faith it has changed me in a lot of good ways. Facing challenges in this world seems to be one of the greatest way God is glorified by people stepping into the word.

  5. Tim M. says:

    I believe I am stronger in this way. Once we know God, eternal life has already begun for us. I try not to see death as an end but as a continuation of the life that God has already given me. This enable me to have a greater peace regarding the events that are taking place in my life and in our world. How God is using these, He knows. Our job is to stand firm in our relationship with God as Vince has stated, to continue to grow in His word, to take action, and to suffer well when those difficult moments come into our lives.

  6. Marko says:

    Brother Vince, you are truly a Godsend! I resonate with your devotion today. God is calling me deeper and closer and I am doing my best to keep moving to Him. These are challenging times, and we have many voices pulling us in strange directions. I am doing my level best to keep my spiritual ears tuned to the voice of the Holy Spirit and follow His leading. Most of those messages cause me to reach deep and cleanse my own heart, repenting and confessing and changing my evil ways (2 Chron 7:14). And some of that is to do my best, within the constraints of my federal manager status, to help those who are also working to get closer to him get elected to key positions in our government to change our course. In the end, only God knows what His plan is, and I bet it is in many ways a lot different than what I think it should be. But in the end, God wins, no matter what happens to me or us in the meantime. and that is our hope of glory! God bless you Brother. Got you on my daily prayer list.

  7. Jeremy M says:

    I’m SO much stronger and you and your devotional are one source of that growth and strength! Thank you!

  8. Tom F. Sr. says:

    Thanks Pastor Vince for helping us to keep our eyes on Jesus and THAT day!

    “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.” – Matt. ‬ ‭24:45-46‬ ‭

    Men – Keep your hands on the plow and push straight ahead, loving our God with ALL your hearts, souls, and minds! This is the first and greatest commandment! – Matt. 22:36-38

  9. Jack says:

    I want to be part of the remnant of the faithful encouraging and being encouraged by the others in the remnant. I heard a man say a whale lives in one world, the sea, but breathes in another world, air above the water. I am learning to live in this world and breathe in the spiritual world above us.

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