“Had your law not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.” Psalm 119:92
I feel as though this verse could be stapled across the last four years of my life. In the darkest hours, God’s Word has been not a balm but the balm for my soul. Every single day, as I went to God in pain and brokenness and opened the Bible to see what He had for me that day, He set my feet on the Rock and anchored my soul in hope.
There have been several things hugely encouraging in this season of suffering. I’ve had certain songs on repeat that helped me cry through some of the hard and ministered deeply. There have been sermons that seemed written just for me. We’ve been loved on by friends and family and I’ve read good books that spoke to grief.
But as helpful as all of that has been, none of it compares to the healing I’ve found in God’s Word. Hands down, it has been getting into the Word that has lifted my head day after day when I’ve been at my lowest.
It’s been my daily exchange.
Each morning I’ve come to my Bible time and exchanged my worry for God’s peace. My despair for His hope. My pain for His promise. My feelings for God’s truth.
I’ve had to do it daily. I can’t get into the Word one day and have it carry me through the week. I keep learning this lesson. It’s when I have a particularly hard day, not just because of the day’s events but because I’m stressed and worried or super downhearted that I realize – oh yeah . . . I didn’t spend time in the Bible this morning.
The day got ahead of me, I put off Bible study until I got some other important things done and before I knew it, my emotions had plummeted. I need a daily exchange of my thoughts for God’s thoughts. A fresh filling of His promises, His character, His hope.
This prescript for daily filling is pictured beautifully as God fed the Jewish people when they wandered for 40 years in the desert. Every morning, He rained down manna — bread from heaven – and every morning each family had to go out and pick up enough for their family that day.
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They couldn’t gather enough to last for the week. Leftover manna turned rancid and wormy. There was one exception: God preserved a double portion gathered on Friday so they could rest on the Sabbath. Otherwise, it was a daily gathering.
What God gave the Jewish people physically, He gives us spiritually. Daily manna.
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
We need that same fresh filling. Nothing calms me, grounds me, restores my soul, lifts my head, fixes my perspective, renews my hope, confirms my purpose and woos my heart like a daily dose of God’s Word.
And there’s never been an easier time to get into God’s Word. Here are four of my favorite ways:
1. Choose a book of the Bible and start reading a chapter a day. No need to search randomly through the Bible to find something that will speak to us. It’s flat out amazing how God will personally speak to our circumstances and our need as we simply read chapter by chapter. Here are 3 different Bible reading plans.
2. Join a Bible study. This is a great way to jump start a good rhythm of Bible study. There are online Bible studies, studies through local churches and community Bible studies such as Bible Study Fellowship. Look for a study that digs into scripture rather than one that discusses a book.
4. Download an app. Thank you smart phones for making it even easier to get our daily dose of God’s Word! Proverbs 31 ministries has a new free app that will send a devotional to you every morning. If you’re like me and you check your phone before your feet hit the floor in the morning (confession), the First5 app is a great way to start your day.
I’m forever grateful for God’s Word; forever grateful that I can daily exchange my brokenness for His fullness
What helps you get into God’s Word? What stops you? I’ve learned every morning is a new chance for me to take a few minutes to meet with God.
Happy to link with Titus 2sDay