Monday, February 19, 2018

Benefits of Bible Study

"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" (Romans 15:4).

When Paul speaks of “everything that was written in the past” he is referring to the Old Testament. All of it, he says, was written to teach us.

Sometimes we struggle over whether a deep study of the Scriptures is really important. Every believer knows that he should study the Bible, but often we hear people say, “I’m not interested in studying all this doctrine. I want to study practical things. I want news I can use. I don’t want a bunch of ‘head knowledge.’ ”

The good news is that everything in the Bible was written to teach us practical wisdom. When we are studying the Bible, we may not get quick solutions to immediate problems, but in fact, we are acquiring deep wisdom that deals with abiding realities and that will carry us through crises. Paul states that this teaching is “so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scripture we might have hope.” Do you ever feel hopeless? Do you ever feel your courage eroding? Do you feel cast down and discouraged? When we are discouraged we tend to become impatient and to be threatened and tempted by despair. On the other hand, hope gives us patience and encouragement. These go together. Paul says that it is the prayerful study of Scripture that can restore our hearts.

What an amazing thing it is to be instructed by God Himself! Look at the fees we are willing to pay at universities and at seminars in order to get information we think we need—and yet God Himself offers to be our Instructor free of charge! When it is God who is willing to teach us, immediately our hopes are encouraged and we are given new patience and joy, in spite of the defeats and difficulties we encounter in our daily lives.

God’s Word is invested with a sense of timelessness. Just as God spoke to and encouraged Paul in his study, so He will with us today. In your reading, begin to compile or highlight those passages which you have found most heartening.