Thursday, January 25, 2024

          You might be able to name a few things where you have placed your confidence.  You might be confident in your car to take you from one location to another.  You might have confidence in a medication or a doctor.  You might have confidence in your new roof not to leak when it rains.  You might be confident in your neighbors to keep an eye on your home while you are away.  Hopefully, you have placed your confidence in Christ and His cross.  Likewise, perhaps you have full confidence in God and His Word.  We can trust the Lord and all that He has promised to us.  In his own words, Peter wrote about the confidence that we can place in the Lord.  He concluded, “We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19-21).  Peter offered his readers some assurance about God’s Word and promises that can bless us today.
            First, Peter said that God’s prophets and prophetic word are “completely reliable.”  There is no margin for doubt or uncertainty.  Not partially reliable but fully and completely trustworthy.  The prophecies that we find in the Bible are not double-talk or conflicting messages.  Sixty-two of the Bible’s sixty-six books contain prophecies and promises about future events.  About 27% of the Bible is prophecy.  We can trust what God has said.  Many of those promises have already been fulfilled in Christ’s coming (His birth, life, death, cross and resurrection).  Other prophecies will be fulfilled in Jesus’ second coming.  If we trust anything in life, we can certainly trust God’s promises and prophecies. 
            Second, Peter said we would “do well to pay attention” to Scripture.  We are not to ignore it or dismiss it.  One of the saddest sights a Christian can see is a Bible that has collected more dust than fingerprints.  A Bible lying idly on a shelf or the backseat of a car is not doing anyone much good.  We do not want to value the Bible in our eyes and mind only to be indifferent toward actually reading it and taking heed to what it says and teaches.  When you read the Bible, think about what it says.  What does it offer for you today?  Where does it speak to the battles and trials that you are facing?  Where does it comfort or even convict you?  Approach God’s Word with enthusiasm and interest.  Be excited for the chance to see what God’s message is for you on any given day.  Be confident that God can apply His Word and promises directly and specifically to your life and circumstances.
            Third, be confident that God’s Word can shine a light in the dark places of life where light is needed.  In the midst of temptation, grief, discouragement or despair, God’s Word can break through.  God often uses His Word to lift our hearts and minds when life has become tough and heavy.  Having a reservoir or repository of promises that you can turn to is a good resource to develop.  Memorize some promises that can boost your confidence and resolve each day.  Psalm 119:111 says, “Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.”  Our joy is increased when God’s Word takes its rightful place in our heart.  We also learn in Psalm 119:89 that “The Lord’s Word is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.”  If God’s Word is firm in the heavens, and it is, then it can reign and rule in us.  It can stand confidently within us to see us through anything that we may encounter.
            Fourth, God’s Word did not originate with mankind.  The writers of the Bible did not organize their own thoughts and conclusions.  They did not write their best words like Shakespeare or Steinbeck.  No, Bible writers wrote under the inspiration of the Lord God and at His direction.  Paul wrote, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  God gave His Word to us.  He breathed it into those He commissioned to write it in the form that we possess today.  He shepherded and inspired the message that He wanted us to receive and treasure.  We can know that we are reading a word from beyond ourselves and this world.
            Confidence and trust are to be granted or given cautiously and thoughtfully.  There are likely people in your life worthy of your trust and confidence.  So too is God’s Word, promises and prophecies.  God will safely and securely keep that which is entrusted to Him—and that includes the faith and trust of His people.  We end with a word from Paul, “...because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).  Have a great Thursday!  Join us for Bible study and worship this coming Sunday! 

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