Good to see you again! How did your week go? Were you able to spend some quiet time with Jesus at His feet in His Word?
If not, please don’t put guilt on yourself because of it. Just resolve to pick up again tomorrow!
The Bible records a time when even Jesus’ disciples missed their quiet time. Why? The needs of the people. You also have people in your life that need you! Some of you have little ones and it can be so hard to make time with Jesus a priority when they are counting on you to take care of their needs!
And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves. The people saw them going, and many recognized them and ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them. When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. When it was already quite late, His disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and it is already quite late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But He answered them, “You give them something to eat!” (Mark 6:31-45, NASB)
What followed was the event we refer to as the feeding of the five thousand.
I don’t know about you, but I confess that sometimes I struggle with doubts about whether I’m understanding Scripture. I know that getting understanding (meaning as well as truth) from God’s Word can be challenging at times. Proverbs 16:16 tells us it’s more valuable than expensive things here on earth! Well then, I’d have to say the effort will definitely be worth the value. Wouldn’t you agree?
How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.
Based on Proverbs 3:5-6, we can have faith that there must be understanding that comes from God because we are instructed to not trust our own understanding.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
During my study time preparing to write this post, I found three keys to understanding that I believe will help us to better understand what we are reading in God’s Word. First, we are right to expect that God will give us understanding. Second, we can have faith that the Holy Spirit is present with us and guides us and the third key is our need to evaluate our hearts.
God Gives Understanding
The Bible informs us that God does indeed give us understanding through the reading of His Word. Psalm 119:130 is one instance.
The unfolding of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple. (NASB)
The fact that Paul prayed for understanding for Jesus’ followers in Ephesians 1:15-19, gives us another reason we should expect that we can gain understanding.
Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power (NKJV).
Holy Spirit Guides Us into Understanding
In John 14:16, Jesus is speaking and says,
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;” (NASB).
And in John 14:26 Jesus also says,
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (NASB)
Later in John’s gospel, Jesus continues:
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. (John 16:13, NASB)
The Holy Spirit guides us and God the Father gives understanding to us, but we have a role in gaining understanding as well.
Evaluate Our Hearts
To get understanding, we need to look at our hearts and determine if they are ready to receive. Psalm 111:10 says,
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.
In Proverbs 2:2 we read,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding;
Do our hearts truly desire God’s truth — are they “inclined” to understanding? Are we in awe of Him and who He is? Are we in a relationship with Him? If there is anything in your heart that you think might be hindering your understanding, please pray and talk to God about it right now. Don’t wait another minute! (I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be right here when you’re ready to continue.)
A Valuable Blessing
I know there have been (or will be) times you want to throw your hands up in total frustration. Whether that’s because you’re struggling with making the time or understanding what you’re reading, but let me encourage you that you will receive a blessing that is far beyond earthly value. We need to: just – keep – reading. (Did you just see a little blue fish swimming by just now?)
Proverbs 23:23 (NASB)
Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
Without a relationship with Jesus, we will have a longing we do not understand; an emptiness inside of us that nothing in this world will ever be able to fill. To be in a relationship with Him means we need to get to know Him, to choose to and actually spend time with Him and continue to work at understanding what He has to say. Thousands of years after He walked the earth, we can still spend time at His feet by studying the Bible. We are so blessed to have His Word preserved for us in our time!
~ Just keep shining, Cindyeliora
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” (Eph. 1:18-19, NASB)