Two days ago I took myself off to Costa with my Bible and notebook. I was in between meetings, I just had 1 hour but I was in need of God. Do you know what I mean? Those times when we just need His help. We need Him all the time but there are those moments when the ache in our hearts, the longing of our spirit for the Holy Spirit to refresh and renew us. I began reading verse 3, how Paul quoted the Messianic Psalm 69 to show that not even Jesus demanded the use of his rights, so we shouldn’t either. I then read this next verse:
“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 v 4)
And I saw it again….the influence of the Bible. Why does Paul keep referring back to the Old Testament? (It was his Bible, the Spirit was using him and others to write the New Testament).
It is because even today the Spirit uses the Bible to cause us to endure and to be encouraged. It is the testimony of my life.
Remember how Jesus in the most excruciating unbelievable traumatic of times, hanging on the cross, quoted these words:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
Why did Jesus say what he said? It is because as he went through hell the power of the Word of God held him. Just as he had done on many occasions where he would quote one verse from an Old Testament passage and the lesson wasn’t in what he quoted but the rest of the passage that he had been silent on. He endured because of the Scriptures.
What was Jesus saying? Maybe this:
“Though I feel abandoned and am going through hell, I still trust Him. And I know later in this Psalm that I am quoting, a Psalm that speaks of me, that vindication will come after the suffering.”
God’s written Word is at the centre of the cross.
Psalm 22, the Messianic Psalm, was in the mind of Christ. He was being held together by the Word.
Maybe someone today is going through their own personal hell or you know someone who is. Let the Bible speak at these times. Memorise, meditate and speak it out. Jesus needed the Word and so do we.
The Costa was a refreshing place for me as I saw once again that for my endurance and encouragement, I need the Bible.