I decided to run a little experiment this week. Rather than going through all the verses in God’s Word that bring me comfort, I decided to crowdsource this. So I asked my friends a very simple question: What Scripture or story from the Scriptures brings you comfort? And the response was overwhelming. All week long, I have benefitted from hearing so many different people share passages and stories in the Bible that bring them comfort.
Here are a few of those comments:
Unsurprisingly, Psalm 23 was one of the passages my friends mentioned the most. For thousands of years, David’s words have brought comfort to God’s people. I was especially moved by what my friend Cindy wrote. She and her husband, Bob, have served in our church family for many years. Cindy spent most of her comment talking about another passage, but before she closed, she mentioned the 23rd Psalm, saying that it “has been a huge comfort to me since losing Andrew.” Cindy and Bob lost their son over 7 years ago. Cindy also lost her parents when she was very young. So when she talks about being comforted in her grief, I listen up. And she says, “This word from God has brought me so much comfort.”
Another one that was mentioned repeatedly was this verse from Jeremiah. God assures His people that He has a plan for them, a plan for them to flourish even while they’re in exile. And I think the point is that God is still at work, even when our circumstances aren’t what we would choose. Those are the times when we need this reminder that God is still at work.
Psalm 34:18 was mentioned by several of my friends. The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. This text comforts us in the knowledge that God comes near when our hearts are broken, when we feel crushed by life. The entire book of 2 Corinthians is basically a commentary on this line from Psalm 34.
Unexpectedly, several of my friends mentioned that the book of Job brought them a special sense of comfort. One of my friends mentioned Job 5:9, He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. She says, “When I’m paralyzed by grief or life, God isn’t. He is still at work doing ‘more than I can ask or imagine.'”
I’m blown away by what my friend Lindsey wrote. I wish you knew her story; and she’s right — her life has been filled with difficulties. But through the book of Job, God has been able to speak tenderly to her heart.
My friend Beth points to the book of Esther as her place of comfort. This story of God’s sovereignty has heartened God’s people for centuries as we seek to live faithfully (like Esther) in the times in which we find ourselves.
My friend Heather pointed to Psalm 31, especially verse 2, which simply says, Be thou my strong rock. She says this verse has guided her through some really difficult days, but God has proven to be the strong rock for her that David speaks of in this Psalm.
One of our elders, Denton, texted me this picture. It’s Isaiah 40:11 taken from the Bible of Paul Kelly. Paul was one of our shepherds at Mayfair for many, many years. He passed away nearly six years ago. Denton told me he went over to visit Susan after Paul had passed away and Paul’s Bible was opened to this passage. As you can see it’s been highlighted and underlined many times. He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a better description of the heart of Paul (and Denton). I know these two shepherds to have hearts that have been shaped by the Master Shepherd, the One who carries all of us close to His heart.
God’s Word is eternal, unchanging, and it is such a comfort to us. Hear again His Word: The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
May we take comfort in His Word.