Written For Our Instruction
Romans 15:4 (ESV) — For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Letter writing is a lost art. I wrote letters to Katrina while I was in the Army. Now text messages and emails render writing letters an ancient practice. But it is the letters of people throughout history that give us glimpses of their world. In letters from the past, we see their hopes, dreams, fears, and comforts. We also see letters written to encourage and help others. Parents wrote letters to their children. Men at war wrote to their families. We see endless examples of instructions and hope given through written letters.
We are reminded today in our passage that God’s Word is a written document given as a guide for our lives. It is much greater than any letter one person can write to another. The Scriptures are written by men, but inspired by the Holy Spirit. These make them a sure guide for us. Paul writes to the church of Rome, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
The Scriptures given to us are for instruction. They teach us how to live. We learn about God, man, redemption, God’s ways, His commands, His promises, and our future. Everything in God’s Word is given for our help and benefit. We are encouraged in our struggles through the Word of God. The promises of Scripture are held out to us and fuel our hope. As we groan under the weight of sin or sorrows, we hear the promise “my grace is sufficient for you.” As we look at the world in all of its brokenness and destruction, we hear the Word tell us a day is coming in which all things will be made new. The Scriptures guide us toward hope.
This is why we must be partakers of God’s Word. We need the Scriptures in our heads and in our hearts. Each day is a chance to stir our hope. We find encouragement we need and endurance from God through the Bible. Don’t neglect it. Prioritize the time, and let it guide your life.
Reflection & Journal:
- What are some of the outcomes of the Scriptures for our lives according to Paul in this text?
- How has God’s Word given you encouragement or hope in particular?
- What is your habit and routine for reading and learning the Scriptures?
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