Hope from the Scriptures – 2 Timothy 3:16

Hopelessness is everywhere. Experts predict that depression will be the second-leading reason to see a physician by 2020. It is spreading like a virus… what can we do? The answer is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible not only contains hope – but it is hope! It is powerful, it is profitable, and it comes with a promise…

The Profit of the Word of God

It may be out of style – but it’s never out of date!  Relativism has stolen the authority out from under Christianity, and in so doing has stolen the hope from the Christians.  Declaring the Bible as non-absolute truth has terrible consequences for us spiritually & emotionally.  Without a foundation, we have no certainty – no solid footing.  Without the rock of truth, then we begin to allow worry to creep in.  It becomes up to you and me to make truth for ourselves.  We become as God and feel in control.  When things go wrong – we stress out and don’t know how to handle it.  But thank God that’s not really the way it is!  Matthew 5:18 says, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”  It is eternally absolute.  It is truth without any mixture of error.  This is the Word of God (like Jesus); it is as Divine as Christ and as human as Christ (without sin).

The Bible is trustworthy… in 588 BC, Ezekiel prophesied that Tyre would be destroyed and that the city would be ‘scraped’ – no rubble, no stones, no timbers would remain (Ezekiel 26).  Ten years later, Nebuchadnezzar conquered the land and laid waste to the city, burning the town, killing the women, capturing the youth – exactly as it was foretold.  Yet one prophecy remained undone – the ‘scraping’ until it was the like a smooth rock where fishermen would spread their nets.  But nearly 1,000 years later, Alexander the Great, in an attempt to conquer the land by building a causeway through the bay, pushed all the rubble into the sea.  In addition, he drug hug timbers (cedars of Lebanon) across the old city to help build his road through the sea, scraping Tyre of every last remnant of the old city.  Now it is a place where fishermen spread their nets!

The Bible is profitable for doctrine (teaching & instruction).  Who should we teach?  Who needs the instruction?  Children. New converts. Seasoned saints. Lost souls. Comfortable Christians.  The mission field. We all do!  It is also profitable for reproof (conviction by evidence).  When we sin and get sidetracked, we need a greater reality to show us the way back.  The Bible is the greater truth than our situation to point us where we need to be.  The Bible is also profitable for correction (restoration).  After sin has had its jaws in a soul, Satan will slither away leaving many scars of a regretted past.  It is the Word of God that can restore a person.  It is the promised of God that gives hope and lifts us out of a pit.  It is God’s truths that heal and cleanse our wounds like no other.  But that’s not all – the Bible is profitable for instruction in righteousness (maturing & nurturing).  Interestingly, this word is the same word as ‘chastening’ in Hebrews 12.

The Power of the Word of God

The Bible is inspired.  It is a sacred book – a holy book – like no other.  “Inspired” means God-breathed.  Do you remember Adam’s creation on the 6th day?  God had created a perfect body, yet it had no life because it had no soul.  Then God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)  The exact same thought is given here about the Bible.  It was a good book – perfect, but without soul.  Then God breathed into it life and spirit: now it is alive (Hebrews 4:12) and has the power to give life!  When you are down, and discouraged, without hope, the Word of God has the power to renew your hope and revive your desire for living.

When you read the Bible, you are letting God begin to breathe into your soul His holy breath of life.  But I believe the best way to get the most from the Word is meditation.  Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…”  We need more than just a single breath – we need a spiritual ventilator.  Just like the sick need oxygen and pressure to force air into their lungs, we need concentrated times of breathing God’s air.  Let God give you spiritual CPR by meditating on His Word.  Meditation takes small, bite sized pieces of the Bible (a verse or a principle) and draws strength from that all day long (like a cow chewing cud).

The Promise of the Word of God

The benefits of making the Bible a greater part of your life are numerous… too many for this article, really.  But I will seek to list a few of importance:  Meditating on the Word brings ‘good success’ (Joshuah 1:8).  ‘Great reward’ comes through obedience to the Word (Ps. 19:11).  Health and wealth are discovered through wisdom (Prov. 3:16). Hearing and doing the Word is blessed because of his firm foundation (Matt. 7:24; Jm. 1:25).  Happiness comes from obedience to God’s Word (Luke 11:28). Believing the Word brings life (Jn. 5:24).  We are blessed by reading it, by hearing it, and by heeding it (Rev. 1:3).

The Precious Bible

Though the cover is worn and the pages are torn
Though places bear traces of tears
Yet more precious than gold is this book worn and old
That can shatter and scatter my fears
When I prayerfully look in this precious old book
Many pleasures and treasures I see
Many tokens of love from my father above
Who is nearest and dearest to me
This book’s been my guide tis a friend by my side
It will lighten and brighten my way
And each promise I find soothes and gladdens my mind
As I read it and heed each day

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