As one of my New Year’s resolutions I have decided to read the Bible in a year. I have attempted this before, got to about March, missed a few days then given up. So, what is different this time? The difference I think is, that I don’t want to read the whole Bible just to say I have done so, or even because I want to read it all, but more because I am desperate for God’s word. I am realising more and more that all the guidance, wisdom, and truth I need in my life, is in this book. I know there must be so much of the Bible I haven’t given enough time or attention to, and I am genuinely excited to discover new things, and delve deeper into that which I think I already ‘know’.
I am only on day 17, and so far things are going well. I missed a few days here and there, but caught up, and I have been journalling some of my favourite verses and things I’ve learnt. I want to encourage you, even if you have read it all before to consider reading the Bible in 1 year. There are so many emails, texts or books you can get with daily readings. I have the ‘One Year Bible for Women’ which contains some of the Old Testament, some of the New, part of a Psalm and part of Proverbs each day. It is really manageable amounts to read and reflect on, and I am loving devoting the last part of my day every day to time with God.
One thing God has really spoken to me about through His word, is about being expectant of all He will do in my life. Whether it is healing, wholeness, my heart, or my dreams; I know that God has the best plans for me.
Sometimes, especially when we really need guidance, or hope in our lives however, it can seem like God is silent.
“O Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble?” Psalm 10:1
“Suddenly a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up shouting, Lord, save us! We’re going to drown. Jesus responded- Why are you afraid? You have so little faith” Matthew 8:24-26
Even those closest to Jesus were often afraid and felt like he was far away. David, who sang out praises to God every day of His mercies and grace, also cried out – ‘Lord where are you’? Sometimes it can feel like God isn’t there, or that He just isn’t listening. But then He calms the storm, responds somehow, hears my cries, steps in, or speaks out to show His love and presence in the best possible way. Sometimes just through a still small voice of ‘I am here’.
In the very same Psalm that David cries ‘where are you?’ he also proclaims;
“Lord, you know the hopes of the hopeless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them!” Psalm 10:17-18
God knows everything about you. He knows all the desires of you heart, and He knows exactly what you need, and exactly what is best for you. It doesn’t always seem that way, especially during times He feels far away. But this truth never changes, only your perspective;
“So don’t worry about these things…but your heavenly father already knows all your needs. Seek the kingdom of God above all else…and He will give you everything you need” Matthew 6:31
“Yahweh- Yireh- The Lord will provide” Genesis 22:14
“God will meet all your needs” Phillipins 4:19
“He understands us and knows what is best for us” Ephesians 1:8 (TLB)
“But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid- you are more valuable to God that a whole flock of sparrows” Matthew 10:29-31.
When you know how valuable you are to God, and you remember all He has done for you, then even in the quiet, hard or desperate times, you can be sure that God will never leave you, and that He will give you everything that you need. As the verses above says- God knows if a sparrow falls, so how much more is he aware of you, and your needs, and your hopes and future; when you are his precious child, and he knows how many hairs there are on your head!
I find it amazing that even just within the first few chapters of Genesis, Matthew and Psalms there is so much truth about how much God loves you, and how you are completely in His heart! There may be times when you don’t ‘feel it’ or you face hard times and rainy seasons;
“For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and unjust alike” Mathew 5:34
But the truth is that God doesn’t have favourites. He doesn’t bless some and not others. All experience his sunlight, and all experience the rain. I need to remember that if I believe in Him and follow Him, I can always rely on God to meet my needs. This doesn’t mean He will give me everything I want immediately, but it means He knows me well enough to know what I truly need. And in times of uncertainty both personally, and in this uncertain and turbulent word we live in, I find it extremely comforting to know that God knows me, he loves me, and he desires the best for me. And that even when He is quiet, He is always listening.
“I believe in the sun even when it isn’t shining, I believe in love even when I am alone, I believe in God even when He is silent”.
“Sin is broken, the lost now chosen, in the Father’s heart” You are in God’s heart therefore he knows your needs!!