Visiting a new city or historic site can be frustrating or fascinating and satisfying. Frustration comes from not knowing where to go, what to look at, or what one is looking at.
However, if we have a guide, someone who is a local expert, then suddenly our eyes are opened to wonderful and amazing experiences and knowledge that we would not had on our own. Areas that we are generally not allowed to visit are opened up to us. Things are pointed out that we would not have noticed or appreciated. Our visit becomes eye-opening and full of appreciation.
Constantly throughout the Bible, we are told that God is our guide. And with God’s guidance we can be encouraged instead of discouraged, satisfied and feel content instead of being disappointed.
Here are a few ways we can appreciate God’s guidance.
Guidance for our entire lives
“I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8 NLT
Maybe you are questioning “How did I end up here?” Or saying to yourself, “This is not where I expected to be in my life right now.”
You can be reassured that the path you are on is safely in God’s hands.
When you question what is happening in your life, Psalm 32:8 is a reassuring statement. The path you are on, ask God to open your eyes to wonderful and amazing things you would not notice on your own.
Guidance for our souls
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Is 42:16
God spoke these words to Israel at a time of spiritual darkness and pain. The people had turned their back on God. They had been taken into captivity and exile, and yet God had not left them to stumble around on their own. God was with them. He would guide them always.
It is the same for us. When our souls are heavy and we feel God is not listening to our cries, he is with us, hemming us in on all sides.
You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Psalm 139:5 NLT
Ask God to give you the knowledge of his presence with you, leading you to brighter days.
Guidance that is everlasting
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ Revelation 7:17
The Bible, from beginning to end, gives us reassurance of God’s everlasting guidance.
The verse above from Revelation is most well known for the future hope of life without pain and suffering—”God will wipe away every tear.” However, let’s not miss that it is Jesus, our shepherd, who guides us to this life of tranquility.
“Springs of living water,” featured throughout scripture, speak of the eternal purpose of God in shepherding us to lush pastures of refreshment and peace.
Being refreshed and feeling at peace is not something that only happens in the future, but what we can experience now.
Thousands of years ago when David composed Psalm 23, he wrote about the satisfaction he found in relying on God’s guidance:
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
The same God and Savior can refresh your heart and mind today.
From a present reassurance to a future hope, we can be assured that Jesus leads us to a place of contentment all through our lives to eternity described as “the end.”.
For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14
Guidance that is specific
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
This verse encourages us to listen for God’s individual and specific guidance. It is like someone walking behind you and me. When we’re not sure which way to go or whether we are going the right way, they are there gives verbal directions.
Hearing what someone behind is saying is not easy. Our natural reaction is to turn around to hear hear them beter. But, if we pause and listen intently, then we can hear their instructions clearly.
Proverbs are full of instruction in the wisdom of listening. The challenge for myself and for you is to take time each day to listen for God’s specific guidance. He will give it, we just have to listen.
Take a moment right now and tell God you are listening for his guidance today, perhaps for a particular matter that is troubling you.
Guidance during hard times
They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. Is 49:10
The whole purpose of having a guide, as we outlined at the beginning, is so we are not frustrated but are fascinated and satisfied.
God’s guidance, we have discovered, is good and satisfying.
There are times, however, when life is hard, when nothing seems to be going right, or when we’re feeling weary and drained. We wonder if somehow we’ve got off the path that God intends for us.
God’s guidance doesn’t always means things go smoothly or easily. Instead, we can be reassured that God is still leading and encouraging us. There will be an end to the desert and wilderness-like times.
Even while you’re in the middle of the desert, God is going before you making a path. He is coming behind you whispering in your ear.
You can trust his protection and constant care. Your strength will be renewed.
GUIDANCE SO WE CAN GUIDE OTHERS
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Is 58:11
Did you notice, with the two verses above, that the theme of “springs of water” occurs again? This time, God not only leads us to refreshment, but we too can be a guide and refreshment to other people.