Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hope Through the Encouragement of the Scriptures

I need to hide more of God's word in my heart, and I need to keep training myself to call it up when I'm tempted to depression and negative thinking.There is always some kind of dialogue running in the background of my mind, and left to itself it without fail becomes of the negative sort. "I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11).

Those negative thoughts of pessimism (inarticulated though they may be) are a direct affront to God's generous nature (Romans 8:32, 2 Peter 1:3), to the kindness he has shown me in Christ (Titus 3:4-7), to the promises he has made of a future with him and the hope of heaven (Romans 8:18-24). That's why to succumb to depression and gloom is so often, for the Christian, actually a sin against God--it amounts to unbelief in what he has said and promised! We feel like it's all about us, but what's at stake is our lives lived to glorify and honor him by believing him. He has prescribed his truth, standing outside of ourselves, as the antidote to fear and self-absorption. Let's not neglect the Scriptures. "For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Romans 15:4).

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