Whoever came up with the slogan “life’s a beach,” is woefully out of touch. Life has its share of joys and celebrations, but like the Chinese yin and yang, it also has its corresponding challenges, hardships and dark times. Life is full of surprises, and it seems to throw a nasty curve ball whenever you least expect it. Everyone has their own way of getting through the rough spots. For me, it’s remembering a few Bible verses that are inspirational. Five in particular come to mind.
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
I find this entire psalm applicable to how I can live my life. Whenever I am tempted to do something I know is wrong, to get ahead, remembering this verse helps keep me on the straight and narrow. In light of recent global happenings on the war against terrorism, and keeping in mind what I believe happens with each and every one of us after our lives on earth are through, this is particularly powerful.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
When he needed Bible verses to inspire, my late father-in-law framed this psalm and hung it in his office at work, where he could see it every day. When my husband and I got married, he presented us with our own copy of the 23rd Psalm, which is framed and on display in our home. When things get scary or seem out of control, as they sometimes can in life, I force myself to slow down and reflect on this inspirational Bible verse. This passage still guides me today when I turn on the television news to see heavy coverage of murders, beatings, robberies, kidnappings, bankruptcies, and all things negative. Listening to the media can be scary, unless you keep the proper biblical perspective.
Psalm 91: 5-11
“You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.”
This passage goes hand in hand with Psalm 23, and is good for me to remember when I look at the sad state of the world. Crime is rampant on the local and national level, with scary reports of families breaking apart, husbands and wives killing each other, and child snatchings. These scriptural verses not only neutralize, but overcome, the evil. Obeyed and lived to the fullest, very few realize how powerful they are. Recently we heard reports of homes in our neighborhood being broken into, and gang shootings nearby. Sometimes at night I hear the popping of gunfire a few streets over, and a part of me gets concerned for the safety of my family. But I see a parallel between the first Passover, when God spared the lives of His children but sent death to their oppressors, and today’s contemporary situations.
Proverbs 22: 6, 15
Proverbs 22 is filled with nuggets of wisdom, and as a mother of a 7-year-old, two verses jump out at me. Verse 6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Verse 15 says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him.” I can’t think of any better advice and guidance on childrearing than the word of God. Parents are a child’s first, and most influential, teachers a child will ever have. A prime example is recalling my childhood, when my parents insisted the entire family attend church regularly. I hated it then, I thought it was boring, but something must have stuck. I now insist my son attend church every Sunday morning, and I remind my husband that his presence is required also, to set an example for our son. I make an effort to teach my son courtesy, respect for others, and a proper attitude to accept gentle but firm discipline. I firmly believe moms and dads should be parents to their kids, not friends.
Proverbs 31: 10-12, 27-30
“An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying, ”¹…”many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.'”
I believe this last Bible passage should be a model for all wives, whether they work outside the home or are stay-at-home moms. I have found that if I manage the household with the interests of my family at heart, I get blessed in unexpected ways. My marriage becomes stronger, as does the relationship with my son. And isn’t that what all wives want? Being an excellent wife takes work and sacrifice. Learning from the mistakes I made during my first marriage made me a better, stronger, more spiritual person. It took me many years to reach the point where I can appreciate this verse, and, thankfully, the Lord is still working on me. I have faith that years from now, I will have walked much farther in my spiritual journey.
Credit: lioneltitu / sxc.hu
Copyright: lioneltitu / sxc.hu
Caption: Praying hands over Bible
Create Date: 01/16/2011