This week, I took a drive with a good friend and we were not short on conversation. We talked about the three Virginia football players who were shot and killed, the four college students stabbed to death in Idaho; the three teens who killed a man who attempted to discipline them here in Rock HIll; the heavy snow to come for upstate NY; North Korea showing off its missiles; Russia and Ukraine; the fentanyl drug bust in York County; and more! None of these things affect us directly or personally - we didn’t know the Idahoan students nor the man killed by the three teens - but someone does and they are likely experiencing great stress.
While these things are on our minds, we each have our own personal worries, struggles and endeavors that we are praying the Lord will see us through. We all have situations that require our attention. We don’t always know what to do, and sometimes we fear the outcomes. Jesus told us “in this world, you will have trouble.” Trouble is not new and it’s not temporary, we all experience waves of trouble in our lives. My question for you today, is how do you cope during times of trouble?
Jesus told His disciples, and it applies to everyone who believes in Him, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26 ESV In times of trouble, when we face hurt, grief, anger, uncertainty, strife, alienation, we can pray and the Holy Spirit will remind us of God’s goodness. He will remind us of God’s victories. He will remind us of God’s nature, how He has a plan that may not appear to be a plan for our goodness and His glory, but it always is.
I must credit Bible Study Fellowship for helping me to build my arsenal of Scriptures and stories of God’s faithfulness and glory. Without BSF, the Holy Spirit would be quite limited in what He could bring to my remembrance. He can’t bring something to our remembrance, if we never knew it, if we never knew it. What’s in your remembrance?
I had someone tell me, recently, that he was no good at memorizing Scriptures. I’m not good at this either, and that’s not what Bible study is about. Bible study is about reading the Bible as God’s history of interaction with mankind. It’s about learning man’s situations and God’s reactions, although He already knew the situation would arise, and quite often He set up the situation to cause man to turn to Him. Sure, certain verses stand out in my memory, but I’m not concentrating on memorizing Scripture. My mind is on how God worked in every situation, and how the situations of the past are not dissimilar to the situations we face today. In this week’s study, we read about how there was famine in Samaria and the head of a donkey sold for 80 shekels of silver and one fourth of a cab of seed pods cost 5 shekels of silver. 2 Kings 6:25 This is inflation, the same thing we are experiencing today. A donkey’s head, seed pods - these are not even desirable foods, but they were expensive! But God! He met the need of food, in abundance, after seven years of famine, and four unselfish lepers notified the people of the great bounty. Speaking of seven years of famine…this happened generations before, too! The final chapters of Genesis tell of Joseph, the eleventh of twelve sons of Jacob. Scripture tells us how God foretold of the famine in two dreams He gave to Pharoah, then brought Joseph to the remembrance of Pharaoh's wine servant when Pharoah needed someone to interpret the dreams. God gave Joseph the interpretation of the dreams, and placed it on Pharaoh's heart to put this young man in charge of all the planning and preparations for the 7 years of plenty and the 7 years of famine to follow. God had a plan for Joseph. He elevated Joseph from the death his brothers intended for him 20 years prior, to being in charge of Pottifar’s home until his wife accused him of sexual assault which landed him in a dungeon, to being in charge of the dungeon, to finally Pharoah said to him, “You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” Genesis 41:40 Who saw that coming? Only God! When I study Scripture, I am reminded of God’s goodness, how He has planned the events of our lives for our good (although it might not feel good…) and for His glory.
What’s in your remembrance? Where are you in your study of God’s Holy Word? You can’t remember something you never knew. I am grateful for all I have learned about God through studying the Bible. I’ll be the first to admit, I need the Holy Spirit to bring to my remembrance all that God has done. Sometimes, the future appears to hold no hope, but if God brought Joseph out of the dungeon, He can and will do the same for you and me. Keep your faith. Pray - praise, repent, ask, and do not fail to yield. Allow Him to have His way in your life. Amen.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33 NIV