Lately, I’ve been working on being a source of encouragement for some friends. In this journey, I have consistently been re-directed back to Scripture as a central focus of encouragement.
In light of this journey of seeing the glass half-full, Psalm 119 immediately reminded me of a sermon Rev. Karl Neerhof shared a few years ago. The text of the sermon was 2 Timothy 3:16-17, which states, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” In reading this verse, I came to the realization again that God’s word being fully inspired allows us to receive encouragement and instruction for all aspects of everyday living.
Psalm 119:65-72 guides us in a similar manner to 2 Timothy. The words of the psalm indicate that living by Scripture is encouraging, inspiring, and equipping. In this portion of Psalm 119, we are guided to:
• Live according to your word, Lord (v 65)
• Trust in God’s commands (v 66)
• Obey the word (v 67)
• Ask God to teach us His decrees (v 68)
• Help us keep His precepts in our hearts (v 69)
• Delight in the law (v 70)
• Help us learn his decrees (v 71)
• Value the law more than thousands of pieces of silver or gold (v 72)
One may ask when reading Psalm 119, how in particular should we look to be encouraged by Scripture? Specific examples of how to look towards the word of God include:
• When we have a responsibility to do good to others (v 65)
• During situations that require knowledge or good judgment (v 66)
• While we are afflicted or going astray (v 67)
• When we should acknowledge God’s goodness (v 68)
• In times when false claims have been alleged (v 69)
• When our hearts are hardened and lacking empathy (v 70)
• Throughout all times of affliction (v 71)
Scripture is applicable to all areas of life. In reaffirming this truth, Psalm 119 illustrates that God’s word is truly inspiring and that we can live, trust, obey, teach, understand precepts, delight in the law, and thoroughly learn from his decrees. Read the Psalm 119 scripture below, slowly, and be encouraged, equipped, and inspired.
65 Do good to your servant according to your word, LORD.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.
68 You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.
69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.