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For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4 ESV)

The bible is an encouraging book. It is easy to read through Israel’s history, see their rebellion, see God’s displeasure, and not be too encouraged. Yet, the Scriptures are written for our instruction, that we might have hope and encouragement from them. This comes when the Holy Spirit takes the words written in former days, and implants them in our hearts. When He takes our eyes off of a rebellious Israel and instead place them on the God of Israel who was so patient, kind, and loving toward them. This same God is our God. He desires to have relationship with us in the same way as he longed for them.

1. Does this same truth apply in all historical writings?

2. Does the “whatever was written,” phrase mean that “all” historical writing from every part of the world is for our instruction?

3. What is the reason why the scriptures in particular can give us hope? Name me a time when you have found encouragement from the scriptures.

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