Appalled but Productive

The vision in Daniel 8 is appalling. The great beastly enemy of God is allowed to kill huge numbers of saints.

His power shall be great...and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. (Daniel 8:24)

Daniel is made sick by the vision. But in spite of being sick and appalled, he does his work.

And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it. (Daniel 8:27)

That is the way it is in ministry. From one day to the next the news changes. Some hits home so close it makes you sick. Some is global and makes the heart tremble. But we press on in the work we are given to do.

How can we do this? One way is to know that we are “greatly loved.” Three times an angel tells Daniel he is “greatly loved.”

  • "You are greatly loved.” (9:23)
  • “O Daniel, man greatly loved.” (10:11)
  • "O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” (10:19)

Everyone who believes in Christ experiences the same:

“But God...because of the great love with which he loved us...made us alive together with Christ.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

You are loved with “great love”—omnipotent love, omniscient love, unstoppable love, eternal love. Therefore, do not fear. Be appalled at the world, and be productive in it.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.