Lean not on our own understanding
God's counsel of his Word provides the sure guide when faced with trials.
We are into the opening days of the New Year.
Returning to well-worn pathways of walking in Scripture for day to day guidance keeps us fixed on truth. Inevitably, with the coming weeks and months of 2017, we will experience hardships. Going through a trial by fire can stir up anxieties and fears, or a fall head long into foolish ways, or blindness about God’s goodness and his available help. We need the light of Scripture to guard and to guide.
Listen to John Calvin: “Our adversities are often like mists which darken the eyes; and everyone knows from his own experience how difficult a thing it is, while these clouds of darkness continue, to discern in what way we ought to walk. But if David, so distinguished a prophet and endued with so much wisdom, stood in need of divine instruction, what shall become of us if, in our afflictions, God dispel not from our minds those clouds of darkness which prevent us from seeing his light? As often, then, as any temptation may assail us, we ought always to pray that God would make the light of his truth to shine upon us, lest by having recourse to sinful devices, we should go astray, and wander into devious and forbidden paths.” The Book of Psalms (commentary on Psalm 25:4), p. 417, the Baker Book House edition, reprinted 1979
These following passages from the Bible will help against our tendency toward our spiritual blindness and our worry-filled nail-biting:
“Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:13-14)
“Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared.” (Psalm 119:35-38)
“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” (Psalm 20:4)
“To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:1-3)
“But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.” (Isaiah 32:8)
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar. The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” (Proverbs 19:20-23)
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 2:35)