See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. — Rev. 3:8, NIV
Over my entire adult life what has guided me first is the written Word. When I am sustaining my time in the written Word, all else opens up in front of me at some point. The written Word leads me to the Living Word. The Spirit then works in directing me to what is next. Every major decision in my life comes at some point from the source of the written Word.
This is the ROCK for me in my time of transition. As the Lord has led us to step aside from Heights Church it is not “coincidence” at all it has fallen during the season of Advent. My Advent reading keeps me anchored and the Spirit knows this is where I camp in this season in Bible reading.
The reading through this season has led me into opportunities of deep reflection. It has led me into times of repentance and examination. It has led me into a time of hope.
Friends, in all things, stay anchored in the written Word that will lead you to the Living Word.
In this season of uncertainty, I have the peace of the Spirit.
I opened again a little book I discovered a few months ago: Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart.
The passage I came to this morning is on thankfulness.
Dispose yourself to give thanks to God for everything, hearkening to the word of the Apostle: ‘In every thing give thanks’ (1 Thess. 5:18). Whether you are assailed by tribulation, or suffer want or persecution, or have to bear physical hardships and infirmities, give thanks to God for all that befalls for ‘we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God’ (Acts 14:22). So let not your soul be assailed by doubt, nor your heart weaken; but remember the word of the Apostle: ‘Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day’ (2 Cor. 4:16). If you do not endure sufferings, you will not be able to mount the cross and share its fruit which brings salvation.
In all things, even for what is ahead that seems “dark” at this point because light has not yet hit it, give thanks.
Lord, the road ahead is a joyous journey. While the road I am on is now taking a turn and I feel sadness, I am confident of the journey ahead. Let me stay enveloped in the written Word. Let it lead me always to the living Word. As I walk, the Spirit will remind me of the Living Word with every step. Amen.