Greetings in His name !
This week I have been having alot of contemplative moments, reflecting back on the pain and suffering we feel as humans. I've come to the conclusion of "what right do I have to complain?" As humans and sinners we are subject to daily feelings of dejection, disappointment, jealousy, physical pains and so much more. I have to remind myself that we were never promised that this would be an easy life, but we are to live so we might forever spend our lives at our Maker's feet.
Having suffered many losses in my life, I often lament "Why God? Why did you take my Daddy away at such a young age?" I also lament the loss of young babies before they are born, babies killed by abortions, young people dying in accidents, the seemingly randomness of cancer victims. Years ago I read the book "Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People" but I didn't have an epiphany upon completion.
So here I am seeking out answers in the Good Book, the Holy Bible. Here are some scripture quotes for contemplation:
John 14:1-4 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (Jesus speaking)
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As I read these scriptures I like to highlight them in my personal Bibles. There is a growing trend for people to decorate and 'journal' in their Bibles. Having seen some of these examples I am very impressed with their creativity! So I purchased a set of colored pencils and have started some simple 'coloring' of scriptures as I read them. If you are just starting, I'd suggest that you start with some simple outlining of the quote with a darker color and then filling in with a lighter color. This is not about creating a work of art, but creatively enriching your reading and learning of scripture! There are many wonderful ideas on line, especially on Pinterest. As with many of these sites, please be careful not to try and emulate all of the ideas you see! Many are done by professionals using techniques we can't replicate. Use some for inspiration to get you started. Start simple with the outlining. Add a few simple shapes such as hearts, the 'fish'/icthus symbol or highlight the Word of God. I have found it very relaxing and it forces me to focus on the words...soak them in...learn the scripture.
During church I will often mark the date of the scripture reading for that day. If I am reading a certain scripture on a day of significance (funeral, birthday, holiday) I will make a little note. It is so nice to come across these notes in the future.
Many Christian book stores now offer Bibles printed just for journaling! There are also special pencil sets and stencils for such uses.
So I hope that I have inspired you to start journaling in your Bibles! Learn the Scripture. Drink in the wisdom and guidance we have been given. Learn it. Live it!