It is a bit of an overstatement to say that we are living during a time of great uncertainty. The virus with the cascading ramifications have struck our lives like a harsh winter storm. Unfortunately, the storm has not blown over, nor should we expect it to just go away. The challenge for the follower of Christ is not being swept away by the storm but standing on the foundation of God’s Word.
It is easy to look to the voices of culture for our confidence. Yet our reliance on these “authorities” with ever contradicting solutions only undermine the little confidence that we have during these uncertain times. This past Sunday in our study of 1 Kings we touched on a New Testament verse that reminds us that our confidence needs to be found in the never changing Word of God. Paul wrote to Timothy, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16–17) These words of direction for a younger pastor are also applicable to every follower of Jesus facing uncertainty.
Paul reminds Timothy, and us, that the Bible is not the product of man’s thoughts, insights or opinions but are the instructions directly from of our Creator. The phrase “breathed out by God” means spoken by God. What we have in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments is what God has spoken to mankind. It is God’s instruction that transforms out lives. Look at the four descriptive terms revealed in these verses that will strengthen your life. The first term, teaching, refers to instruction. God’s truth gives us insight into life itself. His words give us understanding of the season in which we are living. Second, God’s truth corrects us. The term reproof, like a mirror of the soul, reflects our shortcomings. But God does not leave us there. The third term, correction, communicates that God’s truth does not just point out our errors but helps us to get back on track. The last term reminds us that God’s truth produces Godly character in the lives of those who put these truths into practice. Think about how getting into the Bible on a regular basis would transform your life.
It is in the next verse that Paul reminds us that God’s truth also allows us to embrace the challenges before us with confidence. The word “that” as in “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” communicates the results of getting into the Bible. It produces confidence. The term here for “complete” speaks of Jesus’ followers being prepared by God for any life challenge. It also reminds us that we will not just survive but make a difference, “equipped for every good work.” What Paul is communicating is that a follower that invests in God’s Word will be prepared for the challenges and questions of life. It is God’s insights that prepare us to be able to help others. It is also this preparation that allows us to see life as it really is and to place our confidence in the Creator. Our confidence is realized, like the young child scared of the dark, in the presence of our Father. The transforming work of the Father through His Word trains us to place our trust in Him above everything else. This allows us to press forward in the midst of uncertainty in our own heart.
I am not a prophet but is seems obvious to me that we will continue to live in a world of uncertainty, but the Scripture reminds us that God is still on his throne.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson