“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
God’s Word provides hope because it tells us the story of God. From Genesis to Revelation, we read the epic story of God, unfolding one page at a time.
Here is a brief overview of God’s story:
Creation of man (Genesis 1)
Fall of man (Genesis 3)
Noah and the flood (Genesis 5)
Call of Abram (Genesis 12)
Covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15)
Joseph sold into slavery and later promoted to leadership in Egypt (Genesis 37–50)
Deliverance of God’s people from Egyptian slavery (Exodus 1–12)
Giving of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)
Rebellion of God’s people (the Israelites) in the desert (Exodus 32 and Numbers 13–14)
Entrance of the new generation of Israelites into the Promised Land (Deuteronomy and Joshua)
Struggle of God’s people to follow God’s instructions once in the Promised Land. (Judges to 2 Chronicles)
Rebellion of God’s people and subsequent punishment from God in the form of exile to Babylonian captivity. (2 Kings)
Rebuilding Jerusalem following Babylonian captivity (Ezra and Nehemiah)
Ministry of the prophets foretelling the coming of the Messiah. (Isaiah to Malachi)
Birth of Jesus (the Gospels)
Life and ministry of Jesus (the Gospels)
Death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus (the Gospels)
Development of the early Church, including the Gentiles being grafted in to God’s family (Acts and the New Testament letters)
Life and ministry of Paul and the other apostles as the name of Jesus spread to the then-known world. (Acts and the New Testament letters)
Writing of Revelation describing the future moment when Jesus will return and every tongue, tribe, and Nation will gather around the throne and worship God together. This will be a beautiful moment when there will be no more tears, no more pain, and no more death. (Revelation)
While this summary is concise, it portrays the over-arching story of God—a story that began before Creation and has no end. Through the reading of God’s story, one thing is clear. God has a plan! This truth provides hope in our daily lives because it teaches us how to live with God’s perspective. God’s perspective reminds us that His Word was written thousands of years ago in order to capture His story. God graciously preserved His story through oral tradition and later written word so that we can know how to live our lives based on truth.
Isn’t that an amazing thought? God in His infinite wisdom knew that we would need clear instruction as well as a God-size picture of His work on this earth so that we can have an enduring source of hope. As a result, God preserved His Word for you and me!
It is easy to fall into the trap of allowing things like our career, husband, children, paycheck, health status, or social standing to provide a sense of hope. However, the truth is these areas can change in an instant. Hope comes as we know the Word and allow the Word to teach us how to live. King David said, “In his word I put my hope.” (Psalm 130:5) I am making the choice to put my hope in God and His Word. I am going to claim every promise and do my best to follow every instruction. I challenge you to do the same thing. God’s Word provides an enduring hope!