Posts Tagged ‘hope’
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways.” Proverbs 14:8
This Bible verse about wisdom has always really struck me. It seems so simple. Can just thinking about your life and where you fit in the grand scheme really be called prudence and wisdom? But everyone does that, don’t they? Or do they? Who among us takes the time out of their busy lives to just sit down and think about their lives. Most of us get so busy with the mundane day to day, that we never really stop and think about why we’re doing what we’re doing. Something that my favorite author, Henry David Thoreau, once said, goes along well with this verse. He said, “We ought to be men first and citizens afterward.” I agree with him. Before I just go off to be a productive member of society, working for 40 years at a job and buying a nice home, shouldn’t I spend some time thinking about what it really means to be a man, and how to live my life in a way that I can be proud of?
Because of Solomon’s words in the verse above, I often try and take time to just sit down and think about my ways. I like to know that I’m living intentionally, that I’m not just doing what I have to to survive, but that I’m really trying to become a better man and live a life that I can be proud of. I hope this Bible verse inspires you to take some time out of your busy day and just reflect on your life as a whole and where you really fit in in the grand scheme of life. You won’t be sorry you did.
“Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.” Proverbs 24:16
This is an amazing Bible verse about perseverance. Not only is it a great picture of never giving up, but I love the fact that Solomon, the writer of the Proverb, uses the number seven. Seven, in Biblical terms, is the number of completion. So when Solomon says “Though a righteous man falls seven times,” it could be interpreted as “Though a righteous man falls every time.” That makes this verse a perfect model for perseverance. It’s interesting too that the verse calls perseverance a character trait of righteousness. People don’t often associate perseverance with righteousness. People often associate righteousness with things like strong character, right actions, and unwavering fortitude. People don’t often get the picture of a righteous person constantly falling down.
That’s why I love this verse about perseverance. It shows not only that righteous people fall and stumble just like everyone else, but also that perseverance is a mark of righteousness. That’s encouraging to me, and gives me the motivation to keep getting back up every time I fall. Hopefully you’ll find this verse inspiring as well.
“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.” Proverbs 22:19
This Bible verse has always motivated me to persevere and do things to the best of my ability. So often I squander my talents, not really caring all that much about what I’m doing, more eager to find a comfortable situation than to really strive toward excellence. But then I’ll read a verse like this one, and I’ll realize that it’s better to be the kind of man who really cares about the work he does, even if the work seems mundane, just for the principle of the thing. Perseverance is often rewarded in the end. People who take the time to strive toward excellence will serve before kings and have their talent recognized. That’s a comforting thing to know.
It’s so easy to just settle for good enough, working just to live and make end’s meet. But I don’t want to live like that. Life is short, and I don’t want to spend the whole of my life pouring my effort into things that I don’t really care about. I want to strive toward excellence and perseverance in the hopes that the work of my hands will one be recognized and rewarded.
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7
I like the combination of being strong and not giving up. Perseverance mixed with courage is a powerful pairing. It’s difficult being strong and not giving up, unless one knows there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s why I love the promise at the end of this verse. Be strong and don’t give up, it won’t all be in vain like you’re worried it will be. So often people seem to work hard for awhile and then get discouraged. It’s tough keeping up hope in the midst of difficult times. One of the hardest things in life is to keep working hard and staying strong, even when it seems like nothing is happening and God isn’t moving.
That’s why I take great comfort in verses like this about perseverance. Perseverance is a powerful character trait, and can bring about a breakthrough when nothing else does. In life, I often seem to take on projects that seem to big for me, and then after awhile, I get discouraged because nothing seems to be happening. It’s sad to start a big endeavor only to give up just before the work is rewarded. I know about my own predisposition toward discouragement, and so I take great comfort in this Bible verse, because it encourages me toward perseverance and finishing what I’ve started.
“For death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:2
This Bible verse about death is actually very inspirational to me. Though it’s not about death in the sense of someone who has recently passed away, it’s about death as the ultimate destiny of each of us. Knowing that each of us is ultimately going to die is one of the big differences between us and the rest of living things on our planet. Animals don’t know they’re going to die. They’re locked in the eternal now, not thinking about the future or the past. But human beings are different. We can better our circumstance and strive to be more than what we were yesterday. One of the things that compels me to become a better man and to try and live my life well is just the simple knowledge that life is short. I won’t be here forever, and time is shorter now than it once was.
Some people go overboard with their preoccupation of death. They’re terrified of death and it paralyzes a part of them. That’s why I love how Solomon put it, “the living should take this to heart.” You should be aware of your own mortality. It should be something that you’ve thought about and use to help motivate you. But don’t let it consume you, especially if you’ve been redeemed by God through believing in Jesus. Those are my thoughts anyway.
“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men who have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13
This has always been a favorite Bible verse about death of mine. I love the fact that it’s two parts and both parts are important. The first part is about understanding God and heaven. Do not be ignorant of about those who fall asleep, meaning understand God’s plan for mankind and what this thing called life is really all about. And then the second part of the verse comes in. If you understand who God is, how Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross can pay for sins, then death is only a delay. God has something amazing planned for all those who call on His name.
Of course, there is always a time to grieve. Being apart from loved ones, especially loved ones taken before their time, is never easy. But grief can also be mingled with hope. That’s probably the most important part of the verse, how Paul describes the rest of men as having no hope. Grief that doesn’t at least have some measure of hope mingled in with it is paralyzing. Grief with hope is truly the toughest emotion for anyone to have to endure. So I hope you take comfort in this Bible verse, knowing that there can be hope mingled in with grief, and that God has something amazing planned for those who call on His name.