If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me.
God’s Word is our training manual for living righteously. But what exactly is it that God’s Word does for us? First of all, God’s Word provides wise counsel throughout life. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” There is a difference between a flashlight and a floodlight. A floodlight illuminates a large area, perhaps hundreds of feet ahead of you. A flashlight does not illuminate every step we are going to take between here and our destination, but it shows us the next step we need to take. That is what God does through His Word. He does not always lay out the whole plan for us, but He shows us what we need to take the next step, and the next step, and the next step. That is the beauty of the direction that comes from God’s Word.
Second, God’s Word is a faithful friend during difficult days. Look at Psalm 119:92-93: “If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me.” Those verses remind me of Darlene Deibler Rose, a Christian missionary who was captured by the Japanese in World War II. She was thrown into prison, her Bible was taken away from her, and she was beaten and tortured for four years. But even though the Japanese soldiers could take away her Bible, they could not take away the Word of God she had memorized and placed in her heart. She said: “As a child and young person, I had had a driving compulsion to memorize the written Word. In the cell I was grateful now for those days in Vacation Bible School, when I had memorized many single verses, complete chapters, and Psalms, as well as whole books of the Bible. In the years that followed, I reviewed the Scriptures often. The Lord fed me with the Living Bread that had been stored against the day when fresh supply was cut off by the loss of my Bible. He brought daily comfort and encouragement–yes, and joy to my heart through the knowledge of the Word.” No matter where you are or what situation you are facing, God’s Word is a faithful friend during times of affliction.
Third, God’s Word serves as a sure defense against temptation. David wrote in Psalm 119:11, “Your word have I treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Martin Luther once wrote about a young man who had a hard time with lustful thoughts, so he asked a hermit for advice. The older man said, “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but only let them fly. Don’t let them nest in your hair.” That is pretty good advice. We cannot always control what thoughts come into our mind, but we have a choice: we can either hold on to those thoughts until they metastasize into full-blown immorality, or we can confront those wrong thoughts with the truth of God’s Word and dismiss them. That is how we use the Bible as a defense against temptation.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Survival Tip #5: Trust Your Training” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Darlene Deibler Rose, “Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith In The Jungles Of World War II, repr. ed. (New York: HarperCollins, 1990), 143; Martin Luther, “Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional,” ed. James C. Galvin (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005), March 8.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.