Eyes speak so easily, Lord. Let the eyes You’ve created for me master the words, “Jesus loves you.”
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“…God wants the combination of His steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever He will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all” (v 4-5 MSG).
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus” (v 4-5 NIV).
ENDURANCE – God’s “steady, constant calling” (Peterson, The Message)*
ENCOURAGEMENT – God’s “warm, personal counsel” (Peterson)
HOPE – “alert for whatever He will do next” (Peterson)
The purpose of Your Word unfolds here: to teach me, to instill Your character in me. Intrinsic to You are endurance and encouragement–these are part of Your character. From the riches of who You are, You reach out to me with gifts of the same. You are “dependably steady,” enduring through everything. In Your Word, You are steadily, constantly calling me to follow you always. You are “warmly personal,” full of encouragement, as You set forth “warm, personal counsel” in Your Word, that’s applicable to EVERYthing I have or will ever face, as You keep me “alert for whatever You’ll do next.”
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (v 13 NIV)
“God of hope” –that’s YOU, Papa! Not that You’re the Subject of hope, but You’re the AUTHOR of it. “Hope…finds its expression in endurance under trial,” (Vines, p. 563).** “It is ‘an anchor of the soul’ (Hebrews 6:18-19), staying in place amidst the storms of this life. It is a purifying power (1 John 3:3).
Write on the pages of my heart, the narrative of Your hope as it infiltrates my being. When the trials come, may You pen how hope spurs me onward, enduring the trying circumstances. When the storms rage, Your prose can convey how Your hope anchors my life and assists me in riding out the storm. With “confident expectation” (Vines, p. 562)** set on You, I watch You unfold each chapter of my life and desire for You to purify my heart and mind, just like Jesus’ (1 John 3:3) … until You pen THE END of this life, and begin the sequel set in eternity. Amen.
*The Message, contemporary paraphrase of the New Testament by Eugene Peterson
**An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words by W.E. Vine