“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –Jesus (John 16:33)
TRUTH: Bad times will come as often as good times. What words do we remember when we come to the end of ropes, become overwhelmed by life or cope with an unexpected repair that will break the bank? When we see a loved one fall back into harmful addiction when we thought they had it under control, what words do we fall back on for strength and help? When peace is gone and worry sets in like a cancer, what are the words that soothe the soul to set us free in faith once more? What wise words do we remember, cling to, and hang on to for dear life when the bottom as fallen out of a project you spent years in building or in a failed relationship who was dear to you? What words of comfort do we remember when we experience an expected loss?
What words have we turned to in this pandemic? Have we become bitter or better?
I remember my mom (who was told by her mom) telling me as a child the importance of memorizing passages of God’s Word. “You’ll never know when you will need it, so pack it away in your mind. At just the right time, when you need it most, you will recall God’s Word and it will help you and those around you.” I have never forgotten those wise words. It is God’s Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus, who brings what we have learned to the surface in trying times as well as in good times!
Our grow group ladies have asked me more than once how do you just pull scripture out of your head at the right time like you do? I had parents and grandparents who taught me well. In fact, I thank God for them right now at this moment. As a grandparent, I am comforted and strengthened but what little I know coming forth at this moment to help me now. I am encouraged at what I am still learning. It takes a life time to learn and grow into an intimate growing relationship with Jesus. It takes all we’ve got to sit under the teaching of His Word so we will remember. I followed this wise advice, not to become a scholar but because I am weak without God’s Word tucked away in my heart, mind and soul.
I compare this learning to having fully stocked shelves when a snowstorm hits. Because we stored up daily needs, we can quickly access what we need to stay alive!
The greatest discovery for me is that the more I learn God’s Word, the more excited I am to learn more! This is an addiction in my life that I will continue! God’s Word is nourishment to my hungry soul in good times and bad. His Word is a love letter to my tender heart. His Word frees my mind of worry that brings me down and gives me peace no matter what the circumstance.
Friends, I want to be better, not bitter in this life as I prepare for life eternal with God.
We must remember that the basic theme of Psalm 119 is the practical use of the Word of God in the life of the believer. When you consider that the writer probably did not have a complete Old Testament, let alone a complete Bible, this emphasis is both remarkable and important. Christian believers today own complete Bibles, yet how many of us say that they love God’s Word and get up at night or early in the morning to read it and meditate on it?
How many Christian believers ignore the Old Testament Scriptures or read the Old Testament in a careless manner? Yet here was a man who rejoiced in the Old Testament Scriptures–which was the only Word of God he had–and considered God’s Word his “food” and his greatest wealth! His love for the Word of God puts today’s believers to shame.
If the psalmist with his limited knowledge and resources could live a godly and victorious life feeding on the Old Testament, how much more ought Christians today live for the Lord. After all, we have the entire Bible before us and two millennia of church history behind us!
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11, NIV
Worship and Wisdom, Psalm and Proverbs
Psalm 119:49-54, The Message
49-56 Remember what you said to me, your servant—
I hang on to these words for dear life!
These words hold me up in bad times;
yes, your promises rejuvenate me.
The haters hate me without mercy,
but I don’t budge from your revelation.
I watch for your ancient landmark words,
and know I’m on the right track.
But when I see the wicked ignore your directions,
I’m beside myself with anger.
I set your instructions to music
and sing them as I walk this pilgrim way.
I meditate on your name all night, God,
treasuring your revelation, O God.
Still, I walk through a rain of derision
because I live by your Word and counsel.
TRUTH: “These words hold me up in bad times; yes, your promises rejuvenate me.”
Proverb 3:5-6, The Message
WISDOM: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”
Hallowed be your Name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Be in every detail of our lives today. Show us Your Ways in Your Word. We understand enough to live a life pleasing to You. Help us live this life well done. Help us recall Your Word when we need it most. Your Word IS a light to our path. Your Word never changes the rules for living a life that is best for us! Help us to be better, not bitter in this ever changing, fickle world. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from all evil. For nothing, absolutely nothing is too hard for You. To You be all glory, honor and praise! Abide in me while I cling to You and Your Word. I will sing Your praises all day long! I’m singing your word now…
In Jesus Name, Amen