Christians, says Paul, should follow the example of Jesus Christ, Who did not live to please Himself. As Paul puts it, “we should help others do what is right, and build them up in the Lord”. Even the prophesies in Scripture foretold the insults and accusations that were heaped upon Jesus, as He laid down His life so that we could become righteous, built up into a glorious church.
In the Word of God, written so long ago and preserved throughout the centuries by the Providence of God and the sacrifices of many of His servants, we still find teaching and instruction for living our lives today.
“And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” Romans 15:4 NLT
Throughout the Old Testament, the Gospels, and the Epistles, there are many promises of God to those individuals who trust and obey Him, and to His people as a whole. He promises healing, the putting away forever of sorrow, pain and shame. He promises everlasting light, glory, and union with Himself. He promises eternal rewards for those who overcome. And He promises sufficient strength and grace for today.
For all of us, no doubt, there are times of darkness, times of sorrow, pain and shame. There are times when God seems far away, times we feel we cannot face another day. And then, God whispers His Word in our hearts. Perhaps He sends a brother or sister with the perfect word we needed to hear that day; perhaps He makes the words of the Bible you are reading leap out and seize your attention; or perhaps, as you go about your day, He reminds you of a verse you read long ago, one that has remained hidden in your heart ever since. But however He does it, you may be sure of two things; first, that He is personally giving you that particular word at that particular time, and second, that His words bring hope and encouragement, strengthening you as you wait for the inevitable fulfillment of His promises.