[E]verything 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.
Encouraged by the Past
One of the most popular history teachers working today is Professor Gary Gallagher. He is so popular with his college students that even his 8 A.M. classes are full. Although they could skip class and simply get the notes from someone later, students show up, even after being out late the night before. They simply don’t want to miss Professor Gallagher’s lectures. Why? Well, as one admirer says, “He makes history come alive.” As a result, students realize that people and events from the past have a great deal to teach us.
This reality is all the more true when it comes to your relationship with God. On the pages of the Bible, the Holy Spirit has chosen to record real events in the real lives of real people. The stories are compelling and dramatic. The stories are true.
These stories are not meant to merely entertain us. They are meant to teach us. In the lives of people who lived long ago, we see ourselves. We see them committing the same sins we commit. We see them suffering the same things we suffer.
But, even more importantly, we see how God loved and cared for those people. We see how he rescued and kept his promises to those people. We see how willing he was to forgive those people. And, when we see this, we are encouraged. It reminds us that the same God loves, cares, rescues, forgives, and keeps his promises to us.
He can do this because of the Savior he sent, the one we know as Jesus. He is the same savior those people in the Bible looked to for forgiveness. Isn’t it marvelous? Isn’t it encouraging?
So, go ahead and open that Bible on your coffee table or on your app. Read again the stories found there. And let God’s goodness to those who have gone before encourage you as you look forward to your future.
Holy Spirit, teach me through your Word. Fill me with endurance, encouragement, and certainty about my future. Amen.