Soul Knowledge

by Henry Reyenga

Is there such a thing as soul knowledge? Things you know to be true at your deepest level. Things so true to your heart that you do not need them to be proved by science.

When I was young, I heard the word “soul” used often. These were the days of the King James and American Standard versions. The actual term “soul” appears over 420 times in each version. In the 1980s, new English Bible versions became popular, like the New International Version. But the word “soul” became less popular, appearing only 125 times. In the New International Readers Version, one of today’s new translations, the word soul appears only 36 times.

In the Old Testament, the word “soul” is translated from the Hebrew word “Nefesh.” It appears 683 times. It is introduced in Genesis 2:7,

The word soul, לְנֶ֥פֶשׁ can be translated as “soul, life, being, body, desire, me, mind.”

Old Testament writers attributed the soul to knowing things. These profound truths include our birth and identity.

Psalm 139 is a moving passage by King David about how God has known him since he was conceived. He knows that he is fearfully and wonderfully made. Many may say that a baby in the womb is just an accident of evolution. How do we know that a pre-born human is a person? The Bible says that your “soul” knows!

Your soul knows what science cannot prove or disprove. My soul knows I am here. My soul knows you are here. Our souls know we need God. Our souls have questions. My soul and your soul finds those questions answered by God from His Word.

Bringing Soul Knowledge Back

Maybe it’s time to bring soul awareness back to the public discussion. The psychological world usually omits the soul or just makes it into a metaphor for therapy. New terms like “mindfulness” have been advanced. Nothing wrong with being mindful, but we need to go deeper into our hungry souls who only find their peace with God!
The world of the soul is the dimension where God and humans connect. It is the world of worship and prayer. It is the world of divine healing and healing forgiveness.
Some things can only be reflected on from a faith-based soul perspective. For example, let’s consider the ending of our human lives on earth. We are born, and we eventually die. But, like the knowledge we are fearfully and wonderfully made, soul knowledge can process our ending on this earth differently.
Instead of contending against my ending of this life on earth, we can live with confidence and hope for life beyond.

John 11:25-26     Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

The soul processes this knowledge through faith.

Soul Knowledge Reflections

Growing up on the King James Version, I heard the word “soul” often. Another place I listened to the word soul was when my mother or grandmothers read me poems by Helen Steiner Rice. She grasped what the word “soul” meant.

Helen Steiner was born in Ohio in the year 1900. Her father died when she was 18 in the influenza epidemic of 1918. At age 29, she married Franklin Dryden Rice, a banker in Dayton, Ohio. The stock market crashed later that year, and Franklin descended into a deep depression. In 1932, he committed suicide.

Helen, aged 32, had lost her father and her husband but did not lose her faith. Her soul knew hope despite it all! Helen became a thriving businesswoman who found an outlet for her soul by writing poetry. She eventually wrote “verse” for the Gibson Greeting Card Company. Helen’s poetry was introduced more widely on the poetry segment of the Lawrence Welk television show. Over seven million copies of her poetry books have been published worldwide.

Her earthly life ended on April 23, 1981, in Lorain, Ohio. See her Wikipedia page.

How Do We Process Our Ending?

We need knowledge anchored in Jesus Christ, which gives confidence to our souls. Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

Helen Steiner Rice wrote soul-knowledge poems that reflected her devotion to God and the Bible. Permit your soul to be fed with this soul food.

The Seasons of my Soul

By Helen Steiner Rice

Why am I cast down
And despondently sad
When I long to be happy
And joyous and glad?

Why is my heart heavy
With unfathomable weight
As I try to escape
This soul-saddened state?

I ask myself often …
“What makes life this way,
Why is the song silenced
In the heart that was gay?”

And then, with God’s help
It all becomes clear,
The “Soul” has its “Seasons”
Just the same as the year.

I, too, must pass through
Life’s autumn of dying,
A desolate period
Of heart-hurt and crying.

Followed by winter
In whose frostbitten hand
My heart is as frozen
As the snow-covered land.

Yes, man too must pass
Through the seasons God sends,
Content in the knowledge
That everything ends.

And, Oh! What a blessing
To know there are reasons
And to find that our soul
Must, too, have it’s seasons.

“Bounteous Seasons”
And “Barren Ones,” too.
Times for rejoicing
And times to be blue.

But meeting these seasons
Of dark desolation
With strength that is born
Of anticipation

That comes from knowing
That “autumn-time sadness”
Will surely be followed
by a “Springtime of Gladness.”

Soul knowledge is comfortable with ending. “Content in the knowledge that everything ends.”  But our souls know that the “springtime of gladness” will come after that!

Soul Centers are where the Bible’s perspective on life, death, salvation, hope, healing, and our futures are freely discussed. Unfortunately, the depressing message in our age is a repeat of epicureanism, also known as hedonism, “Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” But we know we have hope in Jesus Christ that anchors our souls.

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Henry is the president of Christian Leaders, includes: Christian Leaders Institute, Christian Leaders College, Christian Leaders Alliance, and Soul Centers. Henry graduated with a BA in Philosophy from Dordt College and an MDiv from Calvin Theological Seminary. Henry has been married to Pam since 1983, and they have five children and 16 grandchildren.