My Favorite Bible Verse…or Not
trust the light to our path

The world around us is becoming increasingly challenging.

  • Challenging to live out our Christian faith in a morally relativistic culture.
  • Challenging to share the joy of our faith in a world that is not only uninterested, but hostile to a biblical world view.
  • And challenging as we face the uncertainty of a future that seems perilously out of control.

What do you do when you feel challenged?

Where do you go for answers?

How do you decide on the right course of action?

If I’m being smart, I go to the Bible for direction and answers. Sometimes I like what I read. Other times I’m stretched by what I read, knowing the answer does not line up with my natural inclinations.

For example, one of my favorite—and least favorite—verses is the same verse.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105 ESV).

This one verse answers several questions, including the source for answers and the kind of help God provides for guidance.

At face value, this verse sounds like everything we would want, including light and leading. Of course, I’m grateful for the direction this verse promises God’s children.

But (true confession) there’s one particular thing I don’t like about this verse. If I’m being honest, I don’t want a lamp to my feet. A lamp only lights the way a few feet in front of me. It lights the path step by step.

I don’t want a lamp for the next few steps. I want a floodlight that lights the way for a mile down the road. I don’t want direction just for today. I want to know what the next year (or two or three) holds.

But God gives me what I need, not necessarily what I want.

What I need is to learn dependence on God. Sadly, it’s easier for me to trust Him for my eternal salvation in Christ—my eternal destiny—than it is to trust Him in the physical trials of life.

According to Psalm 119:105, God gives just enough direction to move forward with dependence on Him. And coincidentally, that’s what prompts trust, which just happens to be my “one word” for the year.

Conversations with friends have shown me I’m not alone in wanting to know what lies around the bend next month…next year…next decade. And actually, isn’t that the reason people flock to fortune tellers, read horoscopes, and visit palm readers?

We’re under the illusion that if we know what’s coming, somehow we can control it. As if a certain level of control will solve all our problems. But the biggest problem is that control is, itself, an illusion. We can’t control the weather, the culture, or how other people respond to us.

And to make matters worse, most of us aren’t even successful controlling ourselves!

Ever lost your temper? Said something you wish you could take back? Or maybe not said something you wish you had?

Control may be what we want, but dependence is what we need. Dependence on the One who created us and sustains us if we run to Him. Trusting that if God has given us all we need in Christ for our eternal relationship to be restored, surely He can be trusted for the here and now.

The Father has restored us through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, and the Son has left us His Spirit, equipping us to grow in our intimacy with Him and to live a life pleasing to Him.

In short, He has already given us everything we need. So why does that not seem to be enough?

Perhaps it’s because, deep down, we’re afraid to trust. Afraid God doesn’t define good the way we do. Let’s face it, we define good as what we want: people and possessions. But God defines good as the people and processes He uses to make us more like Him.

Part of that process is cultivating trust. And trust is cultivated with just enough light for one step at a time.

Like I said…my favorite—and least favorite—verse!

What is your favorite or least favorite Bible verse? Why?


14 responses to “My Favorite Bible Verse…or Not”

  1. Rayma Zugel says:

    Oh Ava. Thank you for this. I needed this as I wait on something very important. I keep asking God, when? But then reminding Him I am not a patient person. I wonder if He’s trying to teach me something? 🙂

  2. Cindy Zuidema says:

    Dear Ava – beautiful insight! I like what you said: “God defines good as the people and processes He uses to make us more like Him.” God is indeed, very good!

  3. Gerrie Riihimaki says:

    I immediately thought of: “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
    My own ’understalnding and insight’ so often get in my way of trusting completely!
    Thanks Eva. 🙂❤️

  4. Ava Pennington says:

    Thank you, Rayma – I needed this, too!

  5. Ava Pennington says:

    All the time, Cindy!

  6. Ava Pennington says:

    Thank you, Gerrie. That’s a great verse.
    Praying for you and George.

  7. Lesley says:

    Very well stated. Love this!!!

  8. Ava Pennington says:

    Thank you, Lesley!

  9. Carol Ceglia says:

    Thanks Ava. I never thought of that verse in that way but it is so true even though I would like the flood light also.

  10. Great points and nuggets for me to think about. Thanks Sister!!!

  11. “What I need is to learn dependence on God. Sadly, it’s easier for me to trust Him for my eternal salvation in Christ—my eternal destiny—than it is to trust Him in the physical trials of life.” – I am so grateful for my loving Savior who cares for me even when the above is true.

  12. Ava Pennington says:

    Me, too, Debbie!

  13. I’m a lot like you, I want to know more than I need. It’s hard to not be in control, yet it is a blessing at the same time. There is much in the post that stood out to me and that I love, but the one part you say that I liked most is this, “What I need is to learn dependence on God. Sadly, it’s easier for me to trust Him for my eternal salvation in Christ—my eternal destiny—than it is to trust Him in the physical trials of life.” This is so true. I easily forget how powerful my God is when I get stuck in this place of distrust. Great post!

  14. Ava Pennington says:

    Thank you, Marcie. Yes, life is a daily (hourly!) lesson in trust, isn’t it!

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