“Moreover, we possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. You do well if you pay attention to this as you would to a light shining in a murky place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart” (2 Peter 1:19).
All disciples of Jesus need to be reassured at times. Even the strongest followers of Jesus, like John the Baptist, struggled at times (see Luke 7:18-23). So at the outset of this letter, the Apostle Peter seeks to bolster the confidence of the recipient of this letter by reminding them of the solid foundation upon which their faith rests.
Please note that biblical faith always has a foundation to it. God does not call us to believe without supplying us with the facts and evidence to place our faith in. This is why Jesus appeared many times to many different people after His resurrection. He was giving solid proof and evidence to people, especially His followers, like Thomas (please read John 20:24-28). Yet in this verse from 2 Peter, this apostle who had followed Jesus from the beginning and was an eyewitness to Jesus’ early ministry makes an astounding statement. He raises the certainty of the Word of God above even his own exceptional experiences of walking with Christ every day. Even his experience as one of the privileged disciples to witness the Transfiguration (2 Peter 1:16-18), for him, is not as reliable or sure as the Word of God itself.
This is what this word “reliable” means here. It speaks of that which is firm, unshakable, absolutely dependable, giving guaranteed support (security, surety). It is further defined as being worthy of one’s confidence because one is on solid footing or one is walking where it is solid. It will fully support the one who treads upon it. We live in such an experience based culture where our reality becomes the end-all be-all. But for Peter, and now for us, that which provides unparalleled stability in our lives and settles our spirits is the Word of God. We don’t need to experience something or even hear about other people experiencing it to believe it’s true. If the Word of God says it then that settles it. We shouldn’t need people who claim they’ve been to heaven to somehow reassure us of the reality of this place. We should believe heaven is real because the Word of God says it exists, not because some human being claimed to visit there. God’s Word is more sure, more firm, more reliable, more dependable than any experience you and I will ever have. Peter reminds us all that as Christians we possess the Word, but does the Word of God possess us or hold absolute sway over our lives? Nothing is more reliable than the Bible. Build the foundation of your life upon it.