“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
Adversities — whether extended unemployment, continuing martial conflict, chronic pain, or a host of other afflictions — can be the source of tormenting mental and emotional anguish. It can provoke a frantic search for any measure of hope to alleviate our despair.
But how can we possibly find hope in such dire circumstances? Today’s verse instructs us to find hope in the Scriptures. We might think that’s too simple.
We may even respond as Naaman the leper did when the prophet Elisha instructed him to wash seven times in the Jordan River in order to be cured. Naaman furiously stormed away shouting, “I thought he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me” (2 Kings 5:11).
Naaman’s servants pleaded with him, “If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” (2 Kings 5:13) Simple? Yes. Did it work? Yes. Scripture tell us that after Naaman followed Elisha’s instructions, his skin was restored.
Ask yourself, if someone suggested you do some great thing to have hope in your situation, would you do it? Undoubtedly, you and I would. When we read the Word of God, it not only informs us how to endure, but it also encourages us in the process, while providing the hope we desperately seek.
Thank You, Lord, that You’ve given us Your Word. Teach us to treasure it as the gift it is. May we dedicate ourselves to the study of it and find hope in it regardless of our circumstances. Amen.
If you don’t have a daily reading plan, develop one. It can be as simple as reading a few verses a day, or utilizing a plan from the Internet. Then be dedicated to following it consistently. Ask God to make His Word real to you as you read it daily. Then share what you’re learning with others. You may be providing them hope they are searching for.