Psalm 1: Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favoured by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example],
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers).
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night.
3 And he will be like a tree firmly planted [and fed] by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season;
Its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers [and comes to maturity].
4 The wicked [those who live in disobedience to God’s law] are not so,But they are like the chaff [worthless and without substance] which the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand [unpunished] in the judgment,Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows and fully approves the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked shall perish.
Romans 5: 3 And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; 4 and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation]. 5 Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 16:10 Greet Apelles, the one tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus.
1 John 5: 4 For everyone born of God is victorious and overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has conquered and overcome the world—our [continuing, persistent] faith [in Jesus the Son of God].
Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].
Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.
Proverbs 29: 18 Where there is no vision [no revelation of God and His word], the people are unrestrained;
But happy and blessed is he who keeps the law [of God].
Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
Romans 4: 18 In hope against hope Abraham believed that he would become a father of many nations, as he had been promised [by God]: “So [numberless] shall your descendants be.”
Genesis 12: Now [in Haran] the Lord had said to Abram,
“Go away from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
2 And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you [abundantly],
And make your name great (exalted, distinguished);
And you shall be a blessing [a source of great good to others];
3 And I will bless (do good for, benefit) those who bless you,
And I will curse [that is, subject to My wrath and judgment] the one who curses (despises, dishonors, has contempt for) you.
And in you all the families (nations) of the earth will be blessed.”
4 So Abram departed [in faithful obedience] as the Lord had directed him; and Lot [his nephew] left with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had acquired, and the people (servants) which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the [great] terebinth (oak) tree of Moreh. Now the Canaanites were in the land at that time. 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” So Abram built an altar there to [honour] the Lord who had appeared to him. 8 Then he moved on from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord [in worship through prayer, praise, and thanksgiving]. 9 Then Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the Negev (the South country of Judah).
10 Now there was a famine in the land; and Abram went down into Egypt to live temporarily, for the famine in the land was oppressive and severe. 11 And when he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “Listen: I know that you are a beautiful woman; 12 so when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me [to acquire you], but they will let you live. 13 Please tell them that you are my sister so that things will go well for me for your sake, and my life will be spared because of you.” 14 And when Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was very beautiful. 15 Pharaoh’s princes (officials) also saw her and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken [for the purpose of marriage] into Pharaoh’s house (harem). 16 Therefore Pharaoh treated Abram well for her sake; he acquired sheep, oxen, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17 But the Lord punished Pharaoh and his household with severe plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 Then Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this that you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her as my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her and go!” 20 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they escorted him on his way, with his wife and all that he had.
Gen 21: 13 And I will also make a nation of [Ishmael] the son of the maid, because he is your descendant.” 14 So Abraham got up early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away. And she left [but lost her way] and wandered [aimlessly] in the Wilderness of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was all gone, Hagar abandoned the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away, for she said, “Do not let me see the boy die.” And as she sat down opposite him, she raised her voice and wept. 17 God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy from where he is [resting]. 18 Get up, help the boy up, and hold him by the hand, for I will make him a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the [empty] skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with Ishmael, and he grew and developed; and he lived in the wilderness and became an [expert] archer. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Philippians 3: 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,