Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)
During the trials we are all facing in the world at this time, we are at a place when, more than ever, maybe, we, as Christians, should be practicing the word of God, employing our knowledge of it into the very circumstances of our lives that we are helped, of course, but that so are those around us. Christians are called to be “set apart” by our behavior, and in the trying circumstances and trials of life, if we live in the word, we may be a light shining into the darkness for our fellow Christians to be encouraged, and to non-believers, alike, for a manner of being which is peaceful in the storm, which perseveres under trials, which in no thing complains, and in all circumstances, is grateful. Why? Because we are called to. We are children of the light – we are the children of God, we are the sons and daughters of the most high God, and especially because we have so great a “cloud of witnesses around us, we should lay aside every weight which so easily besets us, and run the race we are called to run, keeping our eyes set on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.”
What good is scripture if we do not employ it when we need it? As believers, if we do not have it hidden in our hearts, it will be more challenging, maybe to know what to do, and to hear from the Holy Spirit. I will admit, He can still get us the message, if He wants, to get the point across, and speak to us in our circumstances, if He so chooses. I did not have a bit of scripture “hidden in my heart” during one of my many trials, but I did hear the Holy Spirit give me a particular scripture which when I read, helped me tremendously. “All things work together for good for those who love God and who are called according to His purpose.”
After I read that, I was immediately calmed of my fears of being laid-off, and went into work (I’d taken off the morning to lament over maybe being laid-off, and fortunately, I never was) because I knew the Lord had me after I read that. I trusted him.
If you believe in God, in Christ Jesus, I encourage you to know and memorize His word. It is life. Not knowing or using the word of God in our lives is like having AAA to help you when your car breaks down, but instead of you using the resource you have to help you from your circumstance, you make yourself miserable, focusing only on the problem. You make more of the problem than is present and only choose to see it and what it is doing to you instead of being your own problem-solver, and using what you have to help you, to help you. The problem then becomes all about you and poor you. You enter your broken-down car and cry, “Woe is me!” Your plight becomes a beacon which calls attention to the “poor me” in you. The problem with the car becomes you. I have suffered today. I have had a trouble or a trauma. Moan, moan, moan! It’s taken on a new form you may give it because maybe somewhere in your psyche, you like having problems. Maybe you like being victimized. Maybe you like having attention drawn to you through your problems. Or maybe you have just had unenlightened role models who did the same things which are now your pattern also. Instead of focusing on the solution, the problem becomes you and you only choose to see it, failing to use your resources and knowing how to get out of it. And maybe, because of a lack of experience, you fail to call AAA in your circumstance because though you know they might be there for you, you trust them not because you think you’re too far out of the way or the problem is too large for them handle, so you fail to call them from faithlessness or lack of experience with them showing up for you, so you stay in your condition of breakdown not knowing the full extent of your freedom your resource offers you. I feel like many of us Christians fail to live the life we are offered because we fail to know the word, trust the Lord in seeing us through our circumstances in the tough times, and allowing the Father to show up for us when those times occur so we can build our faith and trust in Him, over and over again, to build a relationship that we will know is real. Our relationship with the Father can be built really only when times are tough. That’s how the Lord is able to present Himself – when you know that is it ONLY Him who makes what happens happen. That is too neat. And, what I have found is my relationship with Him really built most when it had a chance to be tried – I had some really challenging times in my life where He showed big to where I knew it was only Him. I pressed in to what I new about Him from his word, and employed my faith. I began to practice the word. I let go and did my part, and God showed up hugely! I have lots of testimonies on that if you want to search my site or listen to them on hollycobrien.com or see them on Youtube.
We are all incapable of escaping life’s breakdowns. Trouble visits us all in one form or another. I encourage those of us who have the greatest resource of all time in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Father to practice being a follower, not just a believer. Practicing the word of God is what changes and builds us. I am encouraging us to make the most of our trouble or trauma. Focus on the solution. Employ the word in the tough circumstances of our lives. Fix the car! Call AAA! You have the resources. Use them. I feel the word of God is what gives life, and practicing the word is a life- saving resource for us all that I have found invaluable.
I have felt terribly sorry for those people who do not have Christ in their life to call on with certainty. Call they can, and He will help them, but I really feel for those poor souls who don’t know the maker of our Universe or maybe worse, who don’t care to know Him or have so little faith they can’t know Him.
Many of us do know Him, and many of us do not play like we do. We will help many, including ourselves, if we are salt and light to our generation. One to another, fellow believers lifting one another up, but also shining before men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5: 14 – 16
Whether we are actually doing something, in deed, for someone else, or simply responding to life’s circumstances in ways we are called to, by “keeping our eyes on God so he will keep us in perfect peace,” by “acknowledging God in all our ways that He will direct our paths,” or by being “peaceful in the storm,” we can be the men or woman of God we are called to be to walk in good works to help ourselves and others in our times of greatest hardship. This is where the rubber meets the road and where every relationship is tested. These are the greatest gifts when we can see the Father of the Universe see us through the storm and show himself strong for us.
There is such a freedom I have found in following the word of God. Whether it’s “not to fret,” or to “pray for my enemies,” I have found peace and restoration in practicing the word of God. I have felt the grace of compassion showered upon me and increased my faith in the Father and I practiced and walked in knowledge of the word.
It is powerful, more powerful than any two-edged sword. It is our weapon with which we are to fight the enemy. It is living and life giving. It is so good.
Our Father has given us a roadmap, our instructions for life: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
So, with the word of God in our head and heart, we have a better way for navigating our lives.
We will not be without trials. But this we can be certain, we should count it as all joy, according to the apostle James, when we enter into divers (various) temptations – whether tempted to be other than we are called to, whether to trust man over God, whether to fear job loss or losing friends, children or spouses. We are called to come higher with God.
He calls us ever higher to walk with Him, and to trust Him beyond what we can see or know. We are to walk by faith and not by sight, knowing His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and though we may not understand why we are going through what we endure, we are encouraged in Philippians 4: 6 – 8 by the apostle Paul “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
May you begin/continue practicing walking in the word of God, employing it in every circumstance of your life that you may be able to have what Jesus died for us all to have, life and life more abundantly.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5: 16
May you be encouraged by this message today, becoming more than just a believer, becoming a follower of the Word.