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Hope and Encouragement From the Word – GUEST BLOGGER Shelley Jarl

Hope and Encouragement
Written by Patti Greene

Have you ever put thought into how much you appreciate the Word of God? Or, have you ever prayed to thank God for His Word or for the numerous benefits we receive from it? The writer of Psalm 119 certainly did.

With its 176 verses, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the entire Bible. Many people attribute this Psalm to David although the author is not revealed.

The writer had an incredible appreciation for the Word of God. Throughout the Psalm, he uses many words to describe the Word of God, including; word, law, statutes, precepts, testimony, ordinances, commandments and judgments. All in all, the word of God is mentioned in at least 171 of the 176 verses.

It is evident by a few verses in this Psalm that the writer was dealing with some trials in his life.

  • Verses 86+87 “They persecute me wrongfully, Help me. They almost made an end of me on the earth.”
  • Verse 143 “Trouble and anguish have overtaken me.”
  • Verse 150 “They draw near who follow after wickedness”
  • Verse 157 “Many are my persecutors and my enemies.”

Although we find him in the midst of trials, he continues to live a life of faith as he leans on the Word for comfort, guidance, hope and more. He reveals trial and trust, seamlessly, one after another as though for him they were part of the same package. In verses 87-88 he says, “They almost made an end of me on earth (talking about his enemies), but I did not forsake Your precepts. Revive me according to Your lovingkindness . . . ”

Trials are inevitable; they are part of life. We often have no control over whether we will face certain trials. We do have control over how we respond to them. Sometimes we can get so caught up in a situation that our relationship with the Lord suffers. This writer didn’t let that happen.

How do you respond to trials? There is much we can learn about journeying through the storms of life by reading Psalm 119. I encourage you to read it on your own and underline any sections which stand out to you. Read it slow enough to enjoy the beauty of the language the writer uses to express his love and appreciate for God and His word. Notice the depth of understanding he has for the importance of the Word in his life, it’s truly remarkable.

While I read the Psalm, I took note of the things the writer did in his own life while dealing with trials. There are things he did to find hope in the Word of God and we can apply these examples to our own difficult situations to find hope ourselves.

Here are just a few of the things I found the writer did. There are many more examples, but I’ve only listed some of them.

Take Time to Praise God Even in the Midst of Trials

When we praise God we are taking the focus off our situation and placing it on the Lord. This serves to glorify God and can also serve as encouragement to others as they see a trust in God during the storms of life.

  • Verse 7 “I will praise you with uprightness of heart.”
  • Verse 48 “My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments.”
  • Verse 54 “Your statutes have been my songs.”
  • Verse 111 “For they are the rejoicing of my heart.”
  • Verse 162 “I rejoice at Your word.”
  • Verse 171 “My lips shall utter praise.”

Do Not Forsake the Practice of Praying and Meditating on the Word

During trials, it is very easy to skip your scripture reading or prayer time. Don’t let this happen. Reading the Word brings comfort and peace, and it uplifts you and can encourage you.

  • Verse 15 “I will meditate on Your Word”
  • Verse 23 “But Your servant meditates on Your statutes.”
  • Verse 27 “So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.”
  • Verse78 “But I will meditate on Your precepts.”
  • Verse 148 “My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.”

Take Delight in and Hope on the Word

How exactly do we take delight in the Word? For me personally, this happens when I study a passage and apply it to my life. Or I delight in the Word, by having scripture posted around my home so I see it regularly and it encourages me on a daily basis.

  • Verse 70 “But I delight in Your law.”
  • Verse 74 “Because I have hoped in Your word.”
  • Verse 81 “But I hope in Your word.”
  • Verse 113 “But I love Your law.”

Memorize Scripture

Have scripture memorized so you can recall it when you most need it.

  • Verse 11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart.”

Continue to Share your Faith and God’s Word

Talk to others about God’s work in your life. Share scripture with others to encourage or bless them. This, in turn, will bless and encourage you as God’s Word saturates your life.

  • Verse 13 “With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth.”
  • Verse 172 “My tongue shall speak of Your word.”

Be Careful Not to Backslide. Make Corrections When You Find Yourself Backsliding

Each and every person has certain things they struggle with. If you find yourself swaying off course in your walk with the Lord make corrections immediately.

  • Verse 59 “I thought about my ways and turned my feet to Your testimonies.”
  • Verse 69 “But I will keep Your precepts with my whole heart.”
  • Verse 101 “I have restrained my feet from every evil way.”
  • Verse 157 “Yet, I do not turn from Your testimonies.”

Shelley Jarl, author of “The Humidity Makes My Hair Frizz and It’s Really Starting to Stink in Here”, is a mom, Christian, entrepreneur, business owner, author, and lover of all things creative. She strives every day to embrace the abundant life God has given her. As a self-proclaimed warrior, she has put on the armor of God numerous times to overcome tremendous adversity in her life. She can be found living down the end of a ridiculously long driveway, in the mountains of New Hampshire. As proof of her insanity, she owns Weimaraners. But, most importantly, she is a sinner saved by a loving Savior, Jesus.

Shelley can be found online at www.becauseliada.com where she encourages people to find their God-given adventure, whatever that looks like for them and live out the abundant life God intended. She can also be found at www.faithfulbloggers.com where she helps Christians connect and get equipped to impact the world with their faith story.

Book Link:

The Humidity Makes My Hair Frizz and It’s Really Starting to Stink In Here

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Thank you, Shelley, for sharing these words of wisdom with us.

God Bless.

greenenpastures.org

Bible Verses

But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Luke 11:28)

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. (Romans 1:8)

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

Prayer

Dear Lord,

Please give me a heart that is pleasing to you. Give me faith, Give me a desire to study Your word. Give me hope. Thank you for being who you are. I love You. In Jesus’ Name.

Amen.

Books by Patti Greene; Available on Amazon

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About the author

Patti Greene

Patti Greene is the author of three outstanding devotional prayer journals, Answer Me, Anchor Me, and Awaken Me and a book titled "Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending." Patti earned a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and pursued graduate studies in religious education and library science spending two years as a second-grade teacher. After spending 12 years as a stay-at-home mom, Greene spent 18 more years as a school librarian in St. Louis, Missouri and Houston, Texas. When not writing books or blogs, Greene spends her time caregiving, reading, researching, and hanging out with her family and friends. Patti and her husband have three adult children and five grandchildren. Visit her blog at GreenePastures.org.

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