Most people love a good story. Combine drama, romance and suspense with a well-placed music score and many of us will sit in a crowded theater, eating overpriced, nutritionally void food, and call it entertainment. We like to be thrilled and inspired by a good storyline.
We all have a story. Yet the very elements — the drama, romance and suspense — we love in a good movie or book can be the source of suffering in our own lives. For the difficulties and tragedies that are part of our stories, as well as the ones we will walk through with others, may the words of the psalmist be our guide:
“This is my comfort and consolation in my affliction: that Your Word has revived me and given me life” (Psalm 119:50).
What did the psalmist grasp that could comfort and strengthen our aching hearts, overwhelmed minds and frazzled emotions? The psalmist knew from experience the power of God’s Word. God’s Word revived him. God’s Word sustained him. God’s Word gave him life.
We will experience difficult and painful circumstances. Yet we bring added affliction upon ourselves when we embrace lies about God or fail to believe in His promised provision. King David said, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want” (Psalm 23:1). David spoke this truth because in times of affliction he discovered that God was his Shepherd. No matter how his circumstances left him wanting, he did not have to be in want. This experience of God’s provision was and is today — a choice.
God tells us:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
These three commands work in harmony. You can be patient during times of affliction by placing your hope in who God is and all He has promised for you. Hope comes as you are faithful in prayer. You can speak to God the very truths He has spoken to you in His Word. You can hear God speak His words of truth and comfort back to you.
Viewing his story through the lens of truth, the psalmist found patience and hope as he cried out to God:
“Do good to your servant according to Your Word, O Lord…You are good, and what You do is good” (Psalm 119:65,68).