“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. He who despises the word will be destroyed, But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded. The law of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.”
Proverbs 13:12-14 NKJV
Word of life
In these darkened times, hope seems so far away, as each new day brings new horrors. It is in those times that I rejoice in the word of God. In it, I have the hope I need to meet each day, living faithfully as a follower of Jesus.
Without the hope found only in the word, I would be truly sickened, and having no endurance at a time when I need it most. The bible has become my word of life, my connection to an eternal life beyond this present time.
In the more pressing seasons, when the trials mount up, I have learned to run to the word, to search it, poring over it, eagerly looking for my hearts desire: God and His ongoing faithfulness.
“My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. I have declared my ways, and You answered me; Teach me Your statutes. Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works. My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word. Remove from me the way of lying, And grant me Your law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me. I cling to Your testimonies; O Lord, do not put me to shame! I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart.”
Psalms 119:25-32 NKJV
In the darkest of trials, and the most urgent of searches, I have always found the hope to go on. The Lord has never put me to shame. From the day I said yes, the Lord has guided me, by blessing and conviction, and provided me learning by way of my own trials, and by the struggles of others. God places even the dish obedient as examples for us.
Many have sought to go their own way, eschewing the word of God, and many have fallen away. Not only do we see those examples in life, but they are all throughout the word of God, placed there to show us the blessing and the curses.
“Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
I Corinthians 10:6-11 NKJV
We see the how the disobedience to the word resulted In the three thousand falling into death, that same word tells us of others, upon hearing the sermon of Peter, who in their obedience inherited eternal life because of their hearing of the word.
“And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.”
Acts 2:40-43 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, the darkness is upon us, and eternity seems more near than ever before. Let us seek the word of life, clinging to it for our hope, for our guidance, and for our caution. We are being presented with many pitfalls, many opportunities to give into temptation.
But we must remember that great cloud of witnesses found in the Bible, of this who have gone before us, lived victoriously, and will one day welcome us.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV
The word will help us in these perilous times, providing for us the hope and endurance to be faithful to the calling the Lord has given us. Through Christ, we have the power to endure temptation. In that endurance, and victory, there is great blessing, both here and in eternity.
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
James 1:12 NKJV
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