We’ve been told in no uncertain terms to read the Writings morning and night and warned of the consequences if we don’t:
Read the Verses of God every morning and evening, and he who does not read will not be known by the Covenant of God and His Testament. And he who turns away from them in this Day, verily he is of those who have turned away from God since the eternity of eternities. (Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 156)
We need to read with care and attention, even if all we can manage is one passage:
Be not deluded by meaningless repetition of prayers, but worship by day and by night. Should any one read but one Verse of the Verses with fragrance and spirituality, it shall avail more unto him than to read with slothfulness all the Books of God, the Protector, the Self-existent. (Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 156)
In order to meditate on the Word of God, we first have to immerse ourselves in its Ocean to find the pearls that He’s hidden for us. In this way we become pearl divers!:
O peoples of the world! Cast away, in My name that transcendeth all other names, the things ye possess, and immerse yourselves in this Ocean in whose depths lay hidden the pearls of wisdom and of utterance, an ocean that surgeth in My name, the All-Merciful. Thus instructeth you He with Whom is the Mother Book. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 33-34)
We need to do it for lots of reasons, but in particular, we’ve been promised that if we do, it will cure us of our hypertension:
Cannot modern men and women be cured of hypertension and begin through the Word once again to find the lost certainty? Through faith will come serenity and maturity. (Helen Reed Bishop’s preface to the Kitab-i-Iqan, p. ix)
The reason for this is because our minds must be renewed so that we can let go of old beliefs that feed our fear.
We gain knowledge of God from the Word of God. When we believe God’s word and declare it, when we trust God and believe Him, He will protect and care for us and help us through all of all our troubles.
The Word of God is our guide. No other father is our guide or our healer. We can search everywhere for a cure and we won’t find it, because Baha’u’llah promises:
Wert thou to speed through the immensity of space and traverse the expanse of heaven, yet thou wouldst find no rest save in submission to Our command and humbleness before Our Face. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 40)
The word of God gets the job done because the Writings are the Divine Remedy. Like any prescription given to you by a doctor, you have to take it in order to see results, and even then you have to give it time to work. Remember what the doctor says when he gives you an antibiotic? You have to take it for the whole 10 days even when you feel totally cured by day six or it will come back. The Divine Remedy is the same. It’s not the remedy by itself that gets the job done but your obedience to the instructions. We need to continually choose to follow the Word of God, no matter what things might look like. You make a decision to believe God and not to yield to fear. That’s why you need to take a step into action every single day. Fear will come back, but it will come as a temptation and you can treat it like any other temptation. You don’t have to act on it.
Reading the Writings causes fear to vanish:
But great was my surprise to know how the ever-present Hand of the Master has removed so speedily all the difficulties in our way and how the light of His Divine Guidance caused the darkness of doubts, of fears and mistrust to vanish. (Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration, p. 27)
Reading the Writings helps us to find the knowledge that eliminates fear:
In the treasuries of the knowledge of God there lieth concealed a knowledge which, when applied, will largely, though not wholly, eliminate fear. This knowledge, however, should be taught from childhood, as it will greatly aid in its elimination. (Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 32)
Reading the Writings helps us to discover the motivating purpose of God’s Revelation:
Were men to discover the motivating purpose of God’s Revelation, they would assuredly cast away their fears, and, with hearts filled with gratitude, rejoice with exceeding gladness. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 175)
Reading the Writings prevents trouble and tribulation:
Whoso hath quaffed the living waters of Thy favors can fear no trouble in Thy path, neither can he be deterred by any tribulation from remembering Thee or from celebrating Thy praise. (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 154)
Reading the Writings deepens your knowledge and dedication to the Cause:
Let him resolve so to deepen his knowledge of the Faith and so to increase his standards of self-sacrifice and dedication to the Cause as to play his part in building a Community which will be worthy of this supreme bounty and which will be a beacon light to the peoples of this fear-wracked world. (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 37)
It’s not enough to read the Writings, and immerse ourselves in the Writings, but we’re told we have to meditate on them as well.
It is incumbent upon you to ponder in your hearts and meditate upon His words. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 241)
In many places we’re told to “ponder” on something:
Ponder this in thine heart, that the truth may be revealed unto thee, and be thou steadfast in His path. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 76)
Paying attention to what God asks us to ponder on will fill up our minds with the right kind of thoughts and leave no room for us to meditate on our fears by letting that hamster wheel to go round and round in your head. When we meditate on the wrong things, we’re exalting fear and giving it power and wasting time better spent on teaching and service. When we do that it changes chemicals in our body. So meditate on God’s word instead.
When we have our minds renewed by immersing it in the Ocean of God’s Word, we can prove that what God has to tell us is the opposite of what fear has been telling us.
We go to the Word of God to find the truth that is there and the truth is what’s going to set us free and make us whole. It’s not mind over matter but faith over fear. It’s the word of God over the word of our idle fancies.
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