As I kept writing and speaking the name “It’s Positive!,” I began reflecting on the word “positive.” I figured it would be wise to research and understand how it is used in the Bible. So, I decided to do a series called “Positive Parallels” after researching synonyms in Scripture.
Cue the English major in me!
The two applicable definitions of “positive” are described in the dictionary as:
- Consisting in or characterized by the presence or possession of features or qualities rather than their absence.
- With no possibility of doubt; clear and definite.
These are the main synonyms that were most “positive parallel”:
You have no idea how excited I was researching these words in the Bible. It was yet another treasure trove being revealed in the Word! I love when this happens. (Thank the Lord for the internet, too. Can you imagine manually searching for these words in thousands of pages in your Bible? It’s easy and convenient to search for keywords — and in any version of Scripture. I used Bible Gateway’s word search tool.)
I’ve chosen to focus on the words “certain” and “reliable” in today’s post — and the other “Positive Parallels” will follow in later posts. I thought I could get them all in one post, but it turned out to be rather lengthy!
Note: All verses posted throughout “It’s Positive!” are from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. I’m a devoted NIV-er! However, I also like to refer to ESV and NLT — and when I do, I’ll put it in parenthesis for your reference. No version is “better” than the other — it’s simply preference.
- Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there.” (Genesis 15:13)
- If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. (Exodus 22:23)
- For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. (Habakkuk 2:3)
- For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. (John 17:8)
- God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 4:7)
- [The Certainty of God’s Promise] When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself … (Hebrews 6:13)
Depending on your version, “certain” is written to us between 75 and 126 times! And isn’t it comforting to read these passages? The majority of these words were in conversation with God, not in recollections or in descriptive narratives. We see the Lord essentially saying in numerous situations and circumstances: “I know for certain. I will certainly hear them. My promise will certainly come soon. My promise is certain.”
It would be disheartening to search Scripture and find, “You will certainly fail. I’m uncertain of your future. I certainly don’t have time for you.” But that is not the nature or attitude of our Father!
Our journey through infertility and loss is no exception. We can rest easy with the certainty that our Father in heaven knows, hears, promises, and delivers!
The law of the Lord is perfect (flawless), restoring and refreshing the soul; The statutes of the Lord are reliable and trustworthy, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7, AMP)
An unreliable messenger stumbles into trouble, but a reliable messenger brings healing. (Proverbs 13:17, NLT)
Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable? (Proverbs 20:6)
By faith even Sarah herself received the ability to conceive [a child], even [when she was long] past the normal age for it, because she considered Him who had given her the promise to be reliable and true [to His word]. (Hebrews 11:11, AMP)
- We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:19)
- You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. (2 Timothy 2:2)
Here we find the word “reliable” as describing the Lord as trustworthy, and that His instruction makes us wise. We see that a reliable messenger brings healing, and that messages were so reliable that they would be recorded in the Bible for others to hear the truth.
So, do you truly believe that the Lord is reliable? Do you believe in the certainty of His goodness, grace, healing powers and mercy? I don’t know about you, but when reflecting on His true nature like this, it causes me to pause and pray. I encourage you to take a moment to thank the Lord for His certainty and reliability in your life — and confess the areas where you have doubted or not entrusted your journey to Him.
Praise be to our certain and reliable Lord,