Written by: Tim Wood
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
Another one of our core values at EVC is to read and study the Bible. This supports our vision of developing a relationship with God’s Word. We believe the Bible is the perfect and complete word of God. We don’t stop at reading and studying the Bible, we put it into practice in our daily life. The transforming power of God’s word is experienced as we put it into practice. Romans 15:4 teaches us three blessings that we gain as we read, study and practice the word of God.
1. The blessing of learning.
“Everything was written to teach us.” We must be willing to learn what the scriptures teach if we expect to be encouraged by the truth of scripture. Is my life open to be instructed by God’s word? Am I willing to be persistent and consistent in coming to the scriptures to learn? The growth that the scriptures bring us doesn’t show up automatically. I need to humbly receive the word of God to learn.
2. The blessing of endurance and encouragement.
When the instructions of the Scriptures are properly understood, they produce endurance and encouragement. Endurance and encouragement are the blessings to keep going when you don’t feel like it. Where does endurance come from? It comes from the Scriptures. Notice the encouragement we gain from 2 Corinthians 4:16–18: We do not lose heart . . . For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison . . . We look to the things that are unseen . . . because the things that are unseen are eternal. The Scriptures will give you God’s perspective on things, and when believed and practiced, we experience endurance and encouragement.
3. The blessing of hope.
Everyone needs hope. It’s hope that will keep you going in a tough time. Your feelings will lie to you and tell you to quit. God’s word says, “Don’t grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in the present age and in the age to come.” The Scriptures offer hope.
Are you reading the Bible? Are you learning from the Bible? Are you obeying what you learn? The Word of God is powerful. Read it. Study it. Meditate on it. Practice it. As you do, you will be blessed!