I cannot tell you how many times I’ve hit a confusing and/or conflicted point in life and/or marriage, only to find my time of Bible study providing the truths and support I needed. God has been so good to me in that way.
The pages of the Bible are dripping with so much wisdom, comfort and power that we end up drenched in God’s hope after we dive in!
[bctt tweet=”The pages of the Bible are dripping with so much wisdom, comfort and power that we end up drenched in God’s hope after we dive in! #Bible #encouragement” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
Today, I want to share what this can look like based on just a slice of the Christmas story found in Luke 2:28-35.
I’ll be pulling out three truths from this passage that we can cling to and build our lives on, giving us a foundation that’s based in Christ’s hope.
3 Encouraging Truths from Scripture . . .
1. We can relate to the people who experienced joys and sorrows in Scripture.
There are so many true accounts of humans going through some of the same things you and I experience in life in the Bible. That’s both comforting and encouraging.
In this account found in Luke, Joseph and Mary had just brought Jesus, their baby boy, to the temple to be consecrated (dedicated) to the Lord. There they were greeted by Simeon, who took the newborn Messiah in his arms, praised God (Luke 2:28-32), and then blessed them (Luke 2:34a).
Happy, happy, joy, joy! Right?
Naturally, we all love happy moments in life, as well as in Scripture. But what really touches and draws us in are the times when we read about a believer trusting God through suffering. It encourages us to do the same because God’s word also reveals the outcome for those who believed—they received God’s best!
For Mary, it was revealed through a life fully dedicated to being Jesus’ mother, even after hearing and knowing what it would cost her. Hang on to find out why I say that!
But first, ask yourself: What story of suffering in Scripture reflects the troubles you’re facing currently? Search for one and find the encouragement you desperately need!
2. Harsh realities are part of God’s plan for believers.
Several harsh realities were revealed to Mary in Simeon’s words to her below . . .
“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” —Luke 2:34-35
Mary would eventually experience every mother’s worst nightmare! She would one day watch her Son be tortured and killed a horrific and completely undeserved death!
Even though these words must have stung and left a foreboding cloud hanging over Mary’s head, she never resisted being God’s servant and Jesus’ mother. She trusted that God had a good purpose for the pain she would go on to suffer . . . That ultimately her Son would suffer as well.
And this was no hollow hope! Not by a long shot!
It was one that God graciously prepared her for here, comforted her with at the time of Jesus’ death, and lavished on her as she entered heaven.
God is doing the same for you, friend! If you are a believer who’s discouraged and hopeless in your life and marriage, realize that these are the temporary sufferings every Christ-follower must accept and endure.
“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.” —Phil. 1:29
Ask yourself: What painful realties in your life are you resisting? Would God’s redemption and refinement in your life be achieved if all you experienced was ease and normalcy?
3. God redeems harsh realities for Christ-followers.
Did you notice that smack dab in the middle of the harsh realities Simeon prophesied about above (Luke 2:34-35), there was a promise of God’s beautiful redemption?
Though this child (Jesus) was/is destined to cause the falling of many in Israel (Those who reject Christ). Jesus also causes the rising of many as well. In other words, Christ raises up all who call on Him for salvation! He raises us up in our trials and troubles too—giving us comfort, strength and healing!
Do you think Mary would have rather traded this enormously painful reality and experience with her Son for a pain-free life without Christ’s redemption? Certainly NOT!
Ask yourself: What is Jesus doing or has already done to redeem your painful situation?
If you can’t see it, pray that God would open your eyes to all that He’s doing to bring about His good through and in spite of your losses and suffering.
[bctt tweet=”Visit Messy Marriage to discover 3 encouraging truths from the Christmas story! And while you’re there, enter to win Beth’s Messiah in a Manger Bible study! #Bible #Christmas #encouragement” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
If you enjoyed the truths I plucked out from above, then this is the kind of inspiration you can gain every day from my new Bible study, Messiah in a Manger. In this book, I examine the gospel of Luke’s account of the story of Jesus’ birth, breaking it down into ten concise and brief days worth of readings.
Each day’s reading includes a short segment of Scripture, where I go on to unpack verse-by-verse the text with the research I’ve done. I also go on to add my own personal reflections and applications to make the application obvious and relatable. It’s like I’m walking alongside you, like a friend—pointing out what convicts me and what I’ll be working on as well.
So if you’re looking for something to prepare your heart (or your family’s heart) for Christmas, then this is it! And if you’re looking for the perfect gift to give a loved one who wants to be inspired by Christ’s story, then this is it! Click here to check it out while it’s at a reduced sale price of $5.99—down from $6.99—on Amazon!
More good news … I’m giving away a copy of this book to one randomly chosen person—living in the continental U.S.—who comments on this post by noon (CDT), Sunday, Dec. 8th. Be sure to claim your spot!
Congrats to Brittany! She’s the winner of this giveaway! And thank you to all of you who participated!
Which one of the truths do you need to cling to more, and why?
What is one way God has redeemed and encouraged you in a hurt in your life? Care to share how?
Here are some other lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me Monday, Kingdom Bloggers, Literary Musing Mondays, Purposeful Faith, Tell His Story, InstaEncouragements Linkup, Recharge Wednesday, Porch Stories Linkup, Welcome Heart, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Tune in Thursday, Heart Encouragement, Grace and Truth, Faith and Friends, Faith on Fire Friday, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday
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