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Summary: I am totally convinced that we can make a difference in our day. That is why we are still here. God wants us to be around the throne with Him, but He has left us here to make a difference.

Troubled to Make a Difference

Daniel Speaks to Us Today

By Greg Johnson



Daniel 8

We will face much trouble in our life, but we do not have to let it get us down. Instead, we can choose to let it propel us to make a difference. There is hope! There is hope for this world. There is hope for your situation. If it were not possible for us to make a difference, God would not leave us here with a mission.

As I was praying, studying and meditating on Daniel 8 this week, there was one verse that the Holy Spirit kept focusing my attention. The last verse is a special one. I pray it will bring you encouragement and direction today as it has to me. (Daniel 8:27 NIV) "I, Daniel, was exhausted and lay ill for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding."


Daniel was troubled. He was troubled by what he saw in his dream concerning the end times and the rise of the antichrist. Concerning the antichrist Daniel saw that (Daniel 8:24-25 NIV) "He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. {25} He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power." It troubled Daniel to see people destroyed by this individual that rises to world dominance and power. He “was appalled by the vision.”

We are living in troubling times today. There is genocide taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan. There is the war in Iraq. Some reports have shown that over 600,000 Iraq civilians have been killed. The president of Iran, in his dislike of Israel is proclaiming that the holocaust never took place. This week he is hosting a conference to discuss the validity of the holocaust and there are representatives from 30 countries that are participating. There is overwhelming world poverty and unequal distribution of wealth. The New York Times reported last week that the top 1% of the world’s population accounted for about 40% of the world’s total wealth. The bottom half of the population owned only 1.1% of the world’s wealth. The net worth of the world’s typical person was under $2,200. The average American had a net worth of nearly $144,000. The average Japanese had a net worth of $180,000. India with 16.8% of the world’s people, accounted for only .9% of the world’s wealth.

In the midst of a trouble world, we go through trouble as individuals. We constantly deal with the never ending troubles associated with aging, health, security, relationships and providing for the ones we love. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. Sometimes, just providing food and shelter for those we love can be overwhelming.

Becky and I ministered to around 200 homeless people Monday night in downtown Salem, Oregon. Becky delivered a powerful message of hope that God laid on her heart and how that God brings us through trouble so that we can help others get through trouble. We could never have compassion on those that are troubled unless we go through trouble. As followers of Christ, we know that trouble will come our way, but as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, He will bring us through and perfect our faith in the process (Hebrews 12:2).


The trouble that Daniel saw impacted him. It made him “exhausted and ill for several days.” Daniel was distraught and depressed, but he did not stay that way. He shook himself into action and chose to make a difference in his day.

I am totally convinced that we can make a difference in our day. That is why we are still here. God wants us to be around the throne with Him, but He has left us here to make a difference. To lead people through trouble and point them to Jesus who went through trouble on our behalf.


Notice what Daniel did. “Then I got up and went about the king’s business.” Daniel pushed through exhaustion, he pushed through illness, he pushed through despair and depression and he got busy about the king’s business.

Beloved, that is how you shake off the trouble that you see and the trouble that you go through. You get busy about God’s business. You love Him so much and you want to live your life for Jesus, so you push through the suffering, you push through the pain, you push through any indifference, you push through any cynicism, you push through any apathy. You push through and you offer those around you the hope and the love of Christ in the midst of their troubles.

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