Over the last week, I've been trying to explain to some of the girls in my lifegroup how God speaks to us through the Bible. It's hard to explain that God speaks to us in totally practical ways through His Word and that it's not a mystical process that we have to do all the right, magical things to enable.
I feel like I can't make sense of it even now.
But really, the best way to get it is to experience it. This weekend, I didn't actually sit down in the morning and have an intentional quiet time. On Saturday night, I was going over some handouts for a new faith and baptism class. I was looking up some verses that I could use to talk about accepting Christ when I saw verses in the handout about daily life as a new Christian and forgiveness. The verse in the handout said:
Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
That made me think of a verse that I knew was in the letters somewhere about God providing a way out from temptation. So I looked around and found this verse, one I had taken to heart back in high school:
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
I have known this verse for a long time, but it's not until you feel like there is no way you are strong enough to overcome an ongoing struggle that you are truly comforted by this promise: God will not let you be tempted beyond your limits, because you are so valuable to Him. That means that whatever you're going through, you can get through it. Don't give up. And when it gets to be too much, He will rescue you. So have peace.
I am blessed with friends who encourage and challenge me, but I needed to hear that promise directly from God. The Bible is the only way to get that. And He used a completely unrelated study I was doing to point me to that promise.
Today, God led me to the next step. He had promised me that He would carry me through temptation, but then He reminded me that rather than living in frustration with my weakness, He wants me to live in awe of His awesome power! What a difference!
I wanted to encourage a friend, and a phrase just popped into my head: "made perfect in weakness." Thank goodness for Bible Gateway! I looked it up and found this verse:
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
What an awesome God I serve, that He not only walks through the valleys with me, but His power and grace are so great that He doesn't need me to be perfect before He can love and use me.
And what an awesome gift we have in the Bible, that He can use it at any time and in any situation to speak truth and love into our lives.