December 9, 2016 – Finding Hope in the Scriptures
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
– Romans 15:4
The scriptures are not merely a book of stories – like Grimm’s Fairytales. Neither are they simple history – like Caesar’s Gallic Wars. The author of Hebrews described the word of God as “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). The sacred writings of the Old and New Testaments have been handed down to us so that we will have instruction, encouragement, and hope.
The Bible is filled with stories – stories of faith and hope, stories of love and compassion, stories of judgment and wrath. And as we read those stories we glimpse the God who orchestrated the past, present, and future. But we don’t just glimpse him, we meet him there. God reveals himself to us and reminds us that just as he worked then, so will he work in our own lives. And just as he promised them a future, so he promises us a future. And just as he has fulfilled his promises to those before us, so will he fulfill the promises he’s given us.
If you haven’t been in the scriptures recently, I’d encourage you to begin digging in today. Advent is the perfect time to read the Old Testament historical books – with their promise of an eternal Kingdom. It’s a great time to read the prophets – with those same promises reiterated to later generations. It’s is a wonderful time to read the Gospels – with their announcement of the coming Kingdom. It’s the perfect time to read the New Testament letters – with their encouragement to live in God’s Kingdom today. And there’s no better time to read the book of Revelation – with its mystical look into the spiritual reality that is God’s coming and current Kingdom.
But as you read, don’t just read. Pray that God would meet you there. And in meeting you, he will give you instruction, encouragement, and hope like you never imagined.