For the month of January, our church has been considering God's word, through 3 sermons and a seminar. (Before that, we had the privilege of hearing an absolutely outstanding message on "Not Shifting from the Gospel" - I wish I had posted on it, but I didn't have time to do so earlier this month; I highly recommend you listen to it for yourself!) God's word has been a dear source of comfort to me during this lengthy season of affliction, and it was good to be reminded of those benefits through these recent messages. A few points have particularly stood out:
- We most need to rely on Scripture as true when we don't see the truth of it reflected in our circumstances. I have found this to be the case in my struggles with infertility. The more my situation makes it look like God is distant or uncaring, the more I need to cling to the truth in God's word that tell me he is near and kind. As it seems less and less likely that we will conceive, I need more and more to believe that all things work for my good (Rom. 8:28).
- The effect of Scripture on our souls is gradual, occuring over time. I spent many, many months meditating on 1 Peter 4:19 before I began to see in my life any fruit of trusting my faithful Creator. If you have been trying to spend time in God's word and are discouraged about lack of growth, don't give up! Affection for God and his word will come in time.
- God is eager to reveal himself to us, especially through Scripture. He is not hiding. Even reading some of the most difficult to understand passages, we can look for our need for a Savior (examples of sin and suffering in this fallen world) and God's disposition to provide a Savior (to rescue his people from their sin and suffering).
I have been encouraged afresh to press into God's word, to search in Scripture for comfort and correction. This week, I'll continue to share some thoughts about how I personally plan to benefit from God's word in the coming months.