“And some of the wise will fall victim to persecution. In this way, they will be refined and cleansed and made pure until the time of the end, for the appointed time is still to come” (Daniel 11.35 NLT).
There are many layers to Daniel’s prophesies–some speak to actual events throughout time and others speak metaphorically to a Believer’s personal life. Just like the Bible influences the world-view of all history, the Bible also dives deeply within each of us, applying truth to our inner and outer lives. Daniel has a vision of a time when God’s Children will fall under great persecution. This vision can include the Israelites during the Maccabean Revolt, the New Testament Church during seasons of persecution, End Time persecution for all believers and/or the lives of God’s followers personally. The gist of the verse is that God allows persecution into this world because He knows that it is the struggle that refines us. Just like we lift weights or run to work out our physical muscles, God uses the struggles of this life to strengthen and build our spiritual muscles. We obviously need to grow spiritually; otherwise, God would call us to heaven right when we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior. For this reason, we can’t run away from difficulty or hide safely in our own little worlds. We must follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, and many times He leads us into situations that seem scary and uncomfortable. But if God is calling us, we can always claim the final victory in Christ.
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world (1 Peter 4.12-13 NLT).