I don’t think I quite realize the power of God’s Word. It changes death to life, anxiety to trust, and uncertainty to peace…and that’s only the beginning.
John Piper says that past grace is the foundation to future grace. The way God worked in the past gives us reason to trust Him for His faithfulness in the future. I love to write and journal. As a result, I have many of my thoughts and prayers documented and shoved away for whenever I might wander back through them again. Today I pulled out my journal from a year ago, which was a pretty dark time in my life. I was haunted by fears and controlled by anxieties.
As I flipped through the journal, I noticed something HUGE: There was no Scripture. Sure, I was talking to God, but my fears and anxieties dominated the pages. I was listening to myself but not listening to God’s Word. There was a distinct difference in my journaling after several months of Biblical counseling: Scripture was everywhere. I would write out verses and underline parts. I would write out verses and then pray about them. I would write out verses and then preach truth to myself.
The result of God’s Word permeating my thoughts was not that anxiety disappeared. I still struggle with it almost daily. The difference is how I’m dealing with it. My thoughts turn to God’s Word more often; my heart trusts in my Savior more often – and the anxiety, most of the time, is diminished. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song” (Psalm 28:7).
Frances Havergal talks about the power of God’s Word in her book, My King. “‘Where the word of a king is, there is power’ (Ecclesiastes 8:4). Then the question is, Where is it? ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,’ and ‘there,’ even ‘in you,’ will be power.”
This week my struggles have been with exhaustion from long days of teaching. I always find myself wanting to complain about how many students are in my class. In my heart I feel that it isn’t fair, that teaching is so much more difficult with 31 students to manage. But I am comparing my task with my strength alone. I’m forgetting that the Lord is my strength. And He never fails or grows weary.
Today I read Isaiah 40:28-31 with new eyes.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might He increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait with hope for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
I grow exhausted and weary every day, but my God is the Everlasting God. He never grows faint or weary. Therefore, I can draw strength from Him continually. The more I think about it, I see that He must be teaching me to depend on Him – completely. He doesn’t want me to think I can depend on Him only on the hard days, and then I can take over in my own strength other times. I need His strength every day.