I’m a point A to point B kind of gal–I like quick results and checking the boxes off my to do lists. But the older I get, the more I realize that life itself and everything in it is a process. Not everything can get microwaved, 3D-printed, or instantly learned. With that in mind, let’s look at the Hebrew letter Beth.
This letter means a house or understanding, and both require a process. To build or even buy a house, there’s a process, and the same goes for learning and gaining understanding. When you look at the definition process means to have a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. So, although it’s everywhere in your life, there’s still a goal, or particular end, in mind to achieve. Verses 9-16 teach us how to embrace the processes of our lives. It’s great to dream and imagine how or where we want to be, but to make it all happen effectively, here are four principles to help us.
9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.Psalm 119:9-10
10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Principle 1: Be Consistent
To build a house, you first need to gain understanding on how to build it. This requires consistent research, goal setting, planning, and preparing. Then, you start the construction and consistently work on it by taking the necessary actions or steps to complete it. In the same way, when we set goals for our lives, like becoming a kinder person or eating healthier, we need to get consistent in learning about how to do it, so we can have the tools to consistently work on it.
Consistency is also important in our relationship with God. The psalmist addresses one thing you have control over: your way (how you live). Our life is like a house, and the Bible is the manual to gain understanding on how to build it. God intervenes and miracles happen, but He also equipped you to build a life (on Christ!) and how to gain understanding through any trial. The words keeping and seeking imply to do so with consistency.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.Psalm 119:11-12
12 Blessed are You, O Lord; Teach me Your statutes.
Principle 2: Be Persistent
Along with consistency, being persistent is key to reaching your goals. This means pushing through the process when you want to, don’t want to, feel, or don’t feel like it, and even think you can or can’t do it. I love what my boss says: A person can dream all they want, but if they are not willing to work hard, those dreams will never become realities. When you’re persistent, you’ll do whatever it takes to get to where you want to be.
In these two verses, the Psalmist states treasuring God’s word to not sin against Him. This is perseverance! No matter what difficulty you might face, treasuring God’s word in your heart, in your hidden place, and being teachable will keep you from sinning against Him. You’ll do whatever it takes to pursue a life of purity as you learn His statutes!
13 With my lips I have told of all the ordinances of Your mouth.Psalm 119:13-14
14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches.
Principle 3: Be Content
Contentedness literally means to be contented with your situation in life. We can’t confuse this with complacency. Being content doesn’t mean you’ve arrived; it means you have peace and happiness in your season and during your process. This might seem difficult, but the two verses hint us with how to be content: 1) with your lips, and 2) with rejoicing.
To be content, one must recognize the positive things of life and rejoice. The psalmist recognizes what is good in his life, tells of the ordinances of God, and rejoices in the way of His testimonies. He is content with what he’s learned, shared, and applied to his life so far. His rejoicing in God’s word isn’t vain or materialistic. Contentedness comes by recognizing how far you’ve come and seeing what’s good at the moment despite any difficulty. Another way to become content is to write out your accomplishments or to create gratitude lists–this will help our perspective!
15 I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways.Psalm 119:15-16
16 I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.
Principle 4: Be Patient
Last, when going through any season or situation, it’s important to be patient. With the circumstances, ourselves, surrounding people, and the timeline. Just like you need patience to build a house, finish school, build a healthy marriage or strong friendship, or simply waiting in line at Costco, we need to have patience with the processes of life. At the end, we will have more understanding and wisdom than we do today.
Patience is the baseline principle that will set you up to be content, persevere, and to stay consistent. It also helps slow down the busyness of life, allowing you to take a breath, to meditate and actually regard the ways of God. You’ll find delight, not only in your relationship with Him, but in every process of life. Practice the patience principle and embrace the process with a new perspective, stay consistent, persistent, and content!