“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” — Romans 15:4 (NIV84)
So, how much does God love us? How far has He gone to make sure we will have all we need when bad stuff happens? He has given us His Word. The Bible is more than a book. It is the inspired Word of God. It has been written and preserved so that we might be taught how God has interacted with His people since creation. We study and meditate upon the Word of God so that we can be certain of how God deals with His children at different times in their lives. As we study the Scriptures we meet broken and sinful people. We meet people with illnesses. We meet lonely and doubting individuals. We meet those who are inquisitive and those who are fearful. We meet the brave and the beaten. We meet those who are suffering under trials and tribulations. Through it all we meet a God who faithfully brings His love, grace and mercy to each individual to provide them hope and peace.
It is so important that we are in the Word of God. By seeing how people in the past endured their suffering and clung to God with a certain hope, we can begin to do the same. As the Holy Spirit works through the Word as we read it, He strengthens our faith. He broadens our understanding, and He provides us the power to endure our current experience. When God gets us to this point, the most amazing thing begins to happen. In the midst of our sufferings and trials, we begin to be encouraged by the Scriptures. We find ourselves encouraged because we gain a new perspective on our current situation. We realize that we are not alone. And right there, at that very moment, is when hope is birthed. Only God can cause us to have hope when things look hopeless. Only God can cause us to see past our pain to what He has done for others and promises to do for us.
May we find hope and encouragement in God’s Word today.