Treasured Uncertainty- A Lifetime Of Learning Scripture
By Steph Nickel
When it comes to learning Scripture, there is always treasure to be found! In today’s post, Steph reminds us that we have a lifetime of studying God’s Word to look forward to!
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I gave this devotional the title “Treasured Uncertainty.” To many of you, that may sound like an oxymoron. But let me explain what I mean.
There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible. From the shortest, Psalm 117, which contains only two verses, to the longest Psalm 119, which contains 176, there is a wealth of information that is as applicable to life today as it was when it was first written.
There are books of history and books of poetry. There are gospels and epistles, another name for letters. Although written by approximately 40 individuals over a period of approximately 1,500 years, the 66 books of the Bible, are like an enormous tapestry, woven together to create a beautiful and complex picture. Even the most learned Bible scholars don’t understand exactly how it all fits together.
What This Doesn’t Mean
1. This doesn’t mean we can’t have a relationship with the God who inspired the authors of the Bible. He made that possible by sending His Son to die for our sin and rise victorious over sin and death. We need not fully understand God’s Word before we accept this truth and receive the gift of salvation He offers.
2. The enormity of all there is to learn in the pages of God’s Word doesn’t mean there aren’t simple, understandable truths that can and will transform our life.
When asked which were the most important commandments, Jesus summarized it this way in Matthew 22:37-39, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (ESV).
Although we won’t always walk in obedience to these two commandments, with God’s help, we can do so with increasing frequency. He provides both the desire and the wherewithal to do so
3. The fact that there’s so much to learn in the pages of Scripture doesn’t mean we have to be blown this way and that by differing doctrines. But it does mean the correct way to approach God’s Word is pray for insight and understanding. We must study the Scriptures in order to formulate doctrine rather than prove our current beliefs. And even after someone is a Christian for decades, there is still more insight and understanding to be gained.
What It Does Mean
1. We can take God at His word. We may not know how it all fits together. We may not understand the apparent paradoxes. We may not see the fulfilment of His promises in our lifetime. But we can trust that the Scriptures are true and can be believed. And like the children of Israel, God calls us to remember what He has taught us about Himself in the past—even when things aren’t going as we want them to. In fact, it is often when we are facing hardship and persecution that we draw close to Him. And when we do so, we can trust His promise in James 4:8, which says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (ESV).
2. We can look forward to a lifetime of learning. If we only had a copy of the Scriptures, that would be all we’d need. And yet, God, in His mercy and grace, has provided a vast array of study aids and resources. And even more amazing, He has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within all followers of Jesus. While He has chosen not to give us complete understanding all at once, we can count on Him to reveal things to us as long as we continue to seek out the uncertainties and more fully understand those things we know—and think we know.
3. The Scriptures never becomes dry or irrelevant. I can’t tell you how many ah-ha moments I’ve had over the years. I would reread a passage of scripture only to be amazed at how fresh, how applicable, it was to my situation.
A Lifetime Of Learning Scripture
Although I’ve been a Christian as long as I can remember—I first gave my life to the Lord as a young child—I feel I have only begun to get to know Him. And as I mentioned, even extremely familiar passages come alive as I reread them.
Maybe it’s because I see how they apply to my life at that particular time. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been actively thinking of the passage in some time. Maybe it’s because we can never exhaust all there is to learn. More likely, it’s a combination of all of these truths plus so many more.
I’ve learned that God is completely trustworthy. Therefore, I can treasure those things about which I’m not yet certain, knowing, in His time and in His way, He will reveal them to me. My responsibility—and yours—is to dig into the Scriptures and unearth the treasure contained within its pages.
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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