In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
There is such freedom in this verse for the believer. If there is something you want to do, that is not sinful, head in that direction. You have absolute confidence that the Lord will alter your course if the direction is not good, or safe, for you. He might even have a better plan!
vs. 13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushed the spirit. vs. 30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.
This appears to be opposite sides of the same coin. In vs. 13, the heart that is happy makes the face cheerful. For the Christian, a happy heart has to do with contentment, believing God is all we need and that He is the source of our happiness as we walk through our days.
In vs. 30, that cheerful look on our faces, which comes from our happy heart, brings joy to another’s heart.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
Life is full of hardships, hurts and bitternesses, but if we will surrender them to God, the peace of the Holy Spirit, which is our gift from God, will bring life to our body. We all know people who are alive, but have no life. They are bitter, morose, negative, selfish and suspicious. It is peace that gives life to the body – God’s peace – allowing us to live life to the fullest, as we reconcile each day in His Presence.
18. He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored. 20. He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
As a child of God, receiving His correction, and coming to Him in repentance is not easy, but it is always rewarding. God’s forgiveness, His love and friendship wash over the believer who acknowledges his sin and accepts God’s correction. Walking with those who are wise in the ways of the Lord is a way rich with blessings and encouragement.
A man is praised according to his wisdom, but men with warped minds are despised.
I remember working with a man for several years who had a vile mouth and mind. As a Christian, I found it a challenge to work with or around him. Even those who were not Christians, though, despised him for his offensive, out-spoken thoughts and actions. Much better to be thought of as wise.
As Christians we have access to the wisdom that comes from heaven. In the book of James, Chapter 3, verse 17, we read this: “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
When a wicked man dies, his hope persishes; all he expected from his power comes to nothing.
Everything the wicked put their hope and trust in vanishes. Money can’t go with him into eternity. Power means nothing in the spiritual realm and hell looms before him. For the Christian believer, death is the doorway into the fulfillment of hope.
The way of the Lord is a refuge for the righteous, but it is the ruin of those who do evil.
Jesus said the way of the Lord is narrow. I in this narrow way, though, are the delights of heaven – wisdom, purity, the freedom not to sin, joy, peace that passes understanding, love and hope. Here in Proverbs, we see the way of the Lord characterized as a refuge for the righteous. Run to it. Find safety therein.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Several years ago, some friends of mine went through a period of deep grief and struggle. I ministered to them as God directed because there was nothing I could do to ease the pain. Some time later, my friend asked me, “How did you know what to do?” I really didn’t know what to do. It was uncharted territory for me as well. There were times when I prayed fervently before I went to their home, not knowing what I could do or how I could help.
However, when we know the Holy One, and have intimate relationship with Him because we read His Word regularly and pray, He is able to instruct us in the ways of wisdom and understanding that come from heaven. We are not the ones bringing comfort and encouragement, but rather, it is God touching them with His love and comfort through us. We are vessels of hope and blessing.
I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. Then I was the craftsman at his side.
The sea has boundaries set by the command of God. This reminds me of Jesus and the disciples in the storm on the lake. When the disciples woke him up to ask if he cared if they were about to die, Jesus, the Author and Creator of wind, rain and sea, He Who declared the boundaries of that body of water, stood and commanded His creation to cease its storming. Creation obeyed Him instantly.
This same Jesus is in charge of the storms of our lives. Never forget that He is in our boat with us.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister, ” and call understanding your kinsman…”
Imagine being introduced to someone and having them say, ” I would like you to meet my friened, Vickie, and this is her sister, Wisdom, and also her cousin, Understanding.” To be known as a person of these qualities, or to be called by your life’s display of kindness, gentleness or love, would be to fulfill the command in Matthew 5:16, “…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”