“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” ~John 8:31-32 NKJV
The Greek word for “abide” that Jesus uses here literally means to “remain,” “stay,” or “wait.” So, Jesus is telling believers to remain in God’s Word, letting it soak into their minds and shape their lives. But what is there to wait for? The writer of Hebrews talks about waiting, only he calls it “faith.” “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for,” he writes, “the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). The apostle Paul also talks about waiting, only he calls it “hope.” Speaking of the hope of our redemption, and ultimate glorification as sons of God, he says, “Hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:23-25).
So often we humans, in our frailty, will look at the world around us and “abide” in what we see: hurt, pain, death… and our mind isn’t soaked in faith or hope. I think Jesus is telling us here that we we like our minds be soaked in God’s promises and patiently wait, knowing they will come, then we will see the truth that the hurt, pain, and death are temporary and not the salvation God intends for us. We’ll be free from the fear of what we see, and instead the way we live will reflect the truth that we know: God’s promises ARE true.
If you are wrestling with an affair in your marriage, it is critical to “abide” in God, wait patiently for His will, and remember faith and hope. It may not be that your marriage will survive, but if you “abide” God promises to be with you every step. Don’t look at the hurt and pain and loss all around you–instead let God’s word soak into your mind and live your life reflecting what you know is true.