After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I wrote a Bible verse on an index card and carried it around with me everywhere. Whenever I felt overcome by fear or grief, I read the verse on the card to remind me that God is in control, and that He loves and cares for me.
Although I hadn’t done it as a witness to anyone, a friend of mine saw the card and was moved by the fact that I was turning to God’s Word at a time like that. Her own faith in Jesus was strengthened, and she still reminds me of that card and what it meant to her.
Like everyone else right now, I’m feeling unsettled about world events and I’m saddened by the loss suffered from the hurricanes in Texas and Florida. I’ve written another Bible verse down on a slip of paper and I’m keeping it in my pocket:
“O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.” (Isaiah 25:1)
God’s Word is that part of His presence with us that we can hold on to. When life gets so hard, or painful or overwhelming that we struggle to keep going, we can cry out to the Lord Jesus Christ and He comes to strengthen us in His Word.
It’s not so much about a feeling, although often reading The Word does fill the heart with encouragement and hope. But sometimes we feel nothing, and The Word seems empty to us. In these times we can be sure to trust that it is at work in us all the same, if we will only hold onto it.
The coldest hours of night come just before dawn.
In spiritually weak or dry times, I’ve found the best thing to do is to bring my doubt, and all of the other feelings (or lack of them) that go along with it, to Jesus. He already knows, after all. Another thing I do is thank and praise Him, especially at those times when it doesn’t feel sincere, because I’ve found this to be the best way to reconnect with Him. The Lord Himself calls me to these things, and gives me the spiritual strength to do them.
We are the ones who need, and He is the one who comes – and who came – to meet it.
Praising God is telling Him that He alone is good enough to hold onto, strong enough to support you, and wise enough to lead you. Thanking God is remembering that He has been faithful to you all along.
God’s Word lifts us up out of everything that would make us fear and doubt, and reminds us that He has already done marvelous things for us by giving us His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sin. Jesus died, and rose again to life! He forgives our sin and gives us the promise of eternal life with Him. He has given us His Spirit to be with us and strengthen us.
“…Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9)