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Worthy Word Wednesday: Encouragement for Winter “Blues”

on March 5, 2014
photo (7)

The view from my front window this morning while it snowed!

I will admit that I am very ready to be done with winter. . . and snow. Spring is only 15 days away, but the piles and PILES of snow outside make me wonder when spring will actually make its presence know.

This is my first winter as a full-time stay-at-home mom, and my kids and I are feeling the full force of cabin fever right now. I have been tempted many times to complain about the snow, and I’m sure I’ve done so many times mentally. But there are some truths about God–and about snow and winter–that should rather cause us to rejoice. Hopefully these truths will encourage your heart today, especially if you look out your window and see nothing but snow-covered everything! 🙂

My husband wrote a blog post here and also did a devotional on this at our church’s Winter Banquet. I am unabashedly (and with his permission) copying and pasting with minor modifications!

 What God Says about Winter

The Doctrine of Winter

  • Winter’s Origin: God created winter

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.(Gen 8:22)

You have made summer and winter. (Ps 74:17)

  • Winter’s Purpose: That we might awe at His vast superiority over us and give Him praise

God thunders wondrously with his voice;
he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour. (Job 37:5–6)

Have you entered the storehouses of the snow? (Job 38:22–23)

He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. (Ps 147:16)

  • Winter’s Duration: Winter will continue through the earthly reign of Christ (Zech 14:8–9) and until the new heavens and earth are made (cf. Gen 8:22 with Rev 21:1).

Winter Helps Us Understand

Two aspects of winter often figuratively used in the Bible are its pristine whiteness and unforgettable coldness. These aspects of winter are used to help explain how things looked and are used to teach us invaluable truths.

  • Analogies
    • Moses’ hand (Exodus 4:6)
    • Miriam’s whole person (Numbers 12:9)
    • Elisha’s wayward servant Gehazi (2 Kgs 5:27)
    • All were leprous and looked white like snow.
  • Truths
    • Be Faithful.

Dependable people and cold air from snow on a hot day have something in common—they are welcome blessings to those who receive them. As dependable people bless their superiors by faithfully completing their assigned tasks, so also does a wintry wind refresh a tired worker.

Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters. (Prov 25:13)

    • Give Honor to Whom It Is Due.

Honoring fools and experiencing snow in the summer have something in common—they are both activities that should not be happening. In other words, just as we would not expect snow in the summer, so also should honor not be given to the fool who has done nothing to deserve as such.

Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool. (Prov 26:1)

    • Encourage Believers Who Suffer for Reasons Other Than Sin.

Unlike the friends of Job, we should be careful not to give cold and icy criticism to friends in their time of need, especially when they have done no wrong. Rather, we should give them words of warmth and kindness.

“He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty. My brothers are treacherous as a torrent-bed, as torrential streams that pass away, which are dark with ice, and where the snow hides itself.” (Job 6:14-16)

    • The Fire of Hell Will Indeed Be Felt by Those Who Go There .

As easily as heat consumes the snow, so also does Hell consume unbelievers.

Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters; so does Sheol those who have sinned. (Job 24:19)

    • God’s Abundant Words Give Us Joy and Peace.

God’s words to His people are plenteous as the snow, frost, and ice—like Israel in this Psalm, so also we will never exhaust what He has to say to us.

He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel.  (Ps 147:16–19)

Furthermore, just as God intended rain and snow fall from heaven for the purpose of causing vegetation to grow, so also does God give His word to believers intending us to have joy and peace.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  (Isa 55:10–12)

    • As God Is Pure, So Also Are Believers.

Daniel had a vision of God the Father, “the Ancient of Days,” as pictured with snow-white clothing, most likely referring to God’s absolute moral purity (Dan 7:9). The apostle John likewise saw Jesus Christ with snow-white head and hair, perhaps figurative of His moral purity as well (Rev 1:14). The angel who rolled away the stone in from of our Lord’s (empty!) tomb also had clothing that was white like snow (Matt 28:3). Just as holy angels, God the Father, and Jesus Christ are sinless, so also does God see believers as sinless and morally pure, that is, white like snow (Ps 51:7; Isa 1:18; Lam 4:7).

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7)

Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

So, when we see the snow, let us think of the magnificent Creator who makes the snow and let us be in awe of his power. Let us think of the pure Redeemer whose blood makes us whiter than snow. May the snow move us to praise rather than compaint!

{On Wednesdays, I share from a book, blog, or other resource some “worthy words.” I love to read, but my time for reading has been much decreased since the birth of my first child. I am encouraged when I am able to read snippets of precious truth as I come across them. Hopefully these few words will encourage your heart, as well as give you a resource for fuller reading as your time allows.}

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