Comfort (10 September 2019)

Morning Encounter:

Read:

I am at the point of death.
    Let your teachings
    breathe new life into me.
 When I told you my troubles,
you answered my prayers.
    Now teach me your laws.
 Help me to understand
    your teachings,
    and I will think about
    your marvelous deeds.
 I am overcome with sorrow.
    Encourage me,
    as you have promised to do.
 Keep me from being deceitful,
    and be kind enough
    to teach me your Law.
 I am determined to be faithful
    and to respect your laws.
     I follow your rules, Lord.
    Don’t let me be ashamed.
 I am eager to learn all
    that you want me to do;
    help me to understand
    more and more.

Psalm 119: 25-32

Reflect:

Life can sometimes feel like a painful ordeal. Suffering comes to us in many forms and few avoid all of them. For those who don’t believe in, know or trust God, hope is frail. For us who do, the Bible is a source of strength, help and comfort. Notice though how the psalmist recognises both God’s part and his part; he does a lot of asking (teach me, help me, encourage me), but he is playing an active role here too (I will think about…, I am determined to…, I am eager to….). When we are immersed in the word of God, it will be a life raft for us to cling to, and through it, God will hold us steady.

Respond:

Do you read and absorb enough of the Bible for it to be in you, shaping your thoughts, actions and reaction, there in times of trouble to show you the way ahead? How could you make the Bible more of a part of your daily routines? Take a few moments to think through any ideas that come to mind.

Midday Meditation:

“[the] circumstantial wilderness is a terrible, frightening, and dangerous place; but I also believe that it’s a place of beauty…In the wilderness we’re plunged into an awareness of danger and death; at the very same moment we’re plunged, if we let ourselves be, into an awareness of the great mystery of God and the extraordinary preciousness of life.”

(Eugene Peterson, Leap Over a Wall)

Evening Reflection:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in our troubles… just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”  (2 Corinthians 1: 3, 5 (NIV))

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