Isaiah 55:10-11 (TNIV)
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
As with a personal letter, God sends his word to us. The Bible is not a history book or a collection of interesting stories to be read passively and discarded. The Bible is Scripture, holy words from a holy God, miraculously personal and helpful to us through the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Like rain and snow from heaven, it comes to us through sheer grace. Alive and active, it has the power to penetrate hard, defensive hearts and stir to life redemptive fruits like loving kindness and forgiveness.
When we’ve been hurt, we might want to wallow in our anger and pain for a while. As long as we are in this self-focused mindset, however, the power of God’s word lies unused, like an unopened letter. God cannot fulfill his good purpose for us through his word until we take it up and take it in.
Take It Up: Cultivate a habit of reading God’s word. Read even when the message feels at odds with how you feel, or when you don’t want to listen to a different Voice urging you toward a different choice.
Take It In: Ponder God’s word as a personal word for you at this moment, in this situation. Let it reignite your hope, shift the meaning of your circumstances, and lift your vision beyond your hurt and confusion. Choose to trust in God’s promises so you can obey God’s commands with joy.
Live It Out: Do what God’s word says. Forgive others and ask to be forgiven. Pray for the difficult people in your life. Give away acts of kindness and sacrifice. Dethrone your bitter heart and give God’s redemptive will first place in your life.
FATHER, I thank you for the Word you sent in the form of your Son and for the holy Scriptures. I yield my heart to you, with its painful and bitter memories, and I ask that you soften it with showers of grace and truth. Let me live out the goodness of your word in visible ways that refresh and redeem according to your good purpose.
Hebrews 4:12; James 1:22
Choose a short passage of Scripture to read every day for a week, giving it time to speak and penetrate your heart.