When you’re going through times of suffering, where do you look for comfort?
Hopefully, you have more than one source of help through times of trial—family, friends, and church. But one of the most important is God’s Word. As Harold Senkbeil says:
“To find a path through sadness and adversity, you’ll need to quit relying on your own inner resources to find it. Instead you’ll need to look to God’s word to guide you” (Senkbeil, Christ and Calamity, p. 67).
Going to God’s Word might seem like an obvious answer—a Sunday school answer—but do you realize what God’s Word can do? His Word has power. It’s creative. It does things. As Senkbeil says:
“The word of God always does what it says. His word is active and powerful—God creates things by simply speaking them into existence. He merely spoke, ‘Let there be light,’ and immediately light shone into the black emptiness of the initial creation (Genesis 1:2). You and I describe things with our words, but God’s word makes things. That’s what sets God’s word apart from human language” (pp. 67-68).
Keep that creative power in mind when you read a passage like this:
Remember your word to your servant;
you have given me hope through it.
This is my comfort in my affliction:
Your promise has given me life (Psalm 119:49-50).
When the Psalmist says God’s word gives him hope, comfort, and life, you can say God’s Word creates those things in the person. It doesn’t just give you new information to consider but delivers the comfort it promises. It really changes you.
So when trouble comes, where should you put your focus? You can focus on the echo chamber of your painful inner feelings, or you can focus on God’s Word:
“If you want to make headway through stormy seas, fix your troubled heart on God’s word instead of on your inner feelings. Read his word out loud, silencing your relentless mental rehearsal of your inmost fears. Then pray out loud as well, relieving your pent-up private pain while giving voice to your complaints as you pour out your heart before him” (p. 69).
Fix your heart on His Word, and His Word will fix you.
Send your questions or comments to Shawn.