Meditating on God’s word has truly transformed my life. Every time I’ve felt confused about something, God’s word has brought clarity. Every time I’ve felt anxious about an issue, it has given me serenity. The more I read scripture, the more I see that God’s people in the pages of the Bible were a lot like us, with similar fears, weaknesses, and frailties. But when God’s word was met with their faith, it always led to triumphant stories of what God can do through ordinary people.
I’ll put it bluntly: if it wasn’t for God’s word, and the grace God gives to put it into practice, I’d be an angry, bitter, resentful, unforgiving person. I know that sounds horrible, but it’s the truth. I need God’s word and grace to live the more abundant life in Christ Jesus our Lord. And that abundant life is filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit. How wonderful our daily journeys can be when we’re brimming with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance! (See Galatians 5:22-23.)
I can’t tell you (although I wish I could) that since I wrote my meditation I have never gone a day without reading God’s word. But I am thankful to be able to say that by God’s grace I’ve spent many more days than not in the word. And every day that I have spent in scripture and in prayer has been a good day, no matter what came my way. For instance, there was a day when someone had cursed at me and wished the worst for me without any provocation on my part. I hadn’t done anything to deserve that kind of treatment. But because Christ’s words were abiding in my heart, I had no desire to retaliate, nor did I dwell on what had happened. I was free to quickly forgive, and my joy remained with me for the rest of the day.
On the other hand, there was a day that I had not spent time with God, and when someone snapped at me, I snapped right back at them. That was a bad day, not because of how I was treated, but because of how I chose to treat that person. Days like that remind me how weak I really am, and how much I’m in desperate need of God’s word, will, and ways. I’m just a man with similar fears, weaknesses, and frailties as those who have gone before me. But when I tarry in scripture and meet God word with my faith, there’s absolutely nothing which can’t be accomplished that is according to God’s will. To know God’s will, we must know God’s word, and God’s grace will give us strength to do what he says. God dwells in us through the Holy Spirit and will teach us everything that we need to know on our journeys. And when God’s word is met with our faith, we too will have triumphant stories of what God can do through ordinary people.
I could not have found The Upper Room Moments of Prayer (on Facebook Live) sooner. For it is during these moments of centering spiritual practices, meditating on the words of scripture, praying with and for the world, that I find moments of transcendence, hear whispers of peace and hope, see glimpses of truth and justice, behold visions of love and beauty amid all the stark realities that are around me.”