God’s word enriches the soul, ministering to us in “spirit and life” (John 6:63). Even the greetings written by the Apostle Paul some 1,950 plus years ago in the biblical texts, drip with revelatory sustenance to sustain us even in the harshest of climates. For example, 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 reads:
“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
These rich words written by the hand of a mere man, but “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16) by the Holy Spirit, are potent with divine power.
Since the birthing of the church, many men and women of God have found themselves imprisoned for their faith. Like the Apostle Paul, many wisely heeded the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” While imprisoned, Paul wrote Philippians in which he states:
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).
Paul learned to be content in Christ regardless of the circumstances at hand. He acknowledged that he could endure all things through his trusting, thriving faith in Christ in spite of the hand that he was dealt. This is obvious as he demonstrates a contentment while writing this epistle chained within a dungeon. In all likelihood, raw sewage probably flowed at his feet while fettered by chains; however, despite such horrific conditions, his epistle revealed words penned by a man whose heart bowed low at the feet of Jesus. His words certainly were not empty or hollow.
In such difficult moments, the “word of God is living and active,” (Hebrews 4:12) to the soul trusting in Christ alone. The living word penetrates to the very depth of one’s being. Many who have suffered through unwelcomed trials know this full well. Such ones whose contentment is evident to all, like Paul in prison, have hidden His word in their hearts. In the midst of these trials and hardship, the Father does a deep, deep work in His sons and daughters.
Are you enduring difficulties in this season of life?
If so, I stand in agreement concerning what He seeks to do deep within you as you “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). In unwavering faith, I stand in agreement with the word spoken from the mouth of God in that it will accomplish the Father’s perfect plan for your life. For it is written, “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
I stand with you as we together “bow [our] knees before the Father” (Ephesians 3:14) in trusting faith that He will showcase the breadth, width, and depth of His undeniable faith, hope, and love. In doing so you will become firmly entrenched so that you are “rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:7).
Remember the truth encapsulated within Deuteronomy 8:3: “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”
I exhort you in the grace of God to follow the example of the Son of God as Jesus rebuked the devil with the word of God, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Likewise, I fervently pray that you will have a consistent, daily intake of the word of God so that the written, logos of God enriches every fiber of your being “until Christ is formed in you!” (Galatians 4:19).