Where is our Hope

Encouraged 24

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”

~ Proverbs 3:5-8

The Bible has some really great one-liners!  Often times, however, these one liners can become biblical platitudes that we say and believe but don’t put into action, many times because we are not understanding the passage as it was intended to be understood.  This is because we may be taking the verse out of context.  This verse is a great example of that.  Let me explain…

We will often quote this passage in times when we don’t know which way to go.  We may say, “God, should I take this job” or “God, where should I go next?”  We will then quote this passage, saying “Lord, I’m not leaning on my understanding, but yours.  Help me to make the right choice!”  While this is certainly an awesome prayer to pray, this verse isn’t talking about practical decisions.  This proverb is about wisdom, the fear of the Lord, and turning away from evil.  We are to trust in the Lord to deliver us from unrighteousness.  Our “own understanding” is selfishness and pride, and in our selfishness we pursue sin.  To the contrary, we must acknowledge that God is our God, and His desires should always trump my own.   By trusting in Christ and acknowledging his Lordship in my life, God will make straight my paths, or lead me in the path of righteousness.  This understanding is further confirmed by the command given in the verse that follows:

“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”

The reward will be sweet:

“It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”

Any time we approach scripture, we must be careful to read it in the context in which it was written.  When doing so, we will find the life-giving message that it was meant to give, and it will bring clear and beautiful application that we can put into practice immediately and diligently. 

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

Be Encouraged!

Pastor Chris <><

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First Baptist Church of Eaton Rapids

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