By Jordan An
January 22, 2019
An unexpected phone call. The loss of a job. A broken relationship. Political conflict and seemingly random violence. All around us, things seem to be falling apart. Situations beyond our control often leave us feeling hopeless. It’s a struggle to find peace amidst the chaos of our lives and the world we live in.
When these situations arise, we may ask ourselves questions like these: “Will this ever end? What did I do to deserve this? Does anyone even care? Will I ever find hope?”
People throughout the Bible struggled with these same feelings. When Naomi lost her husband and sons, she lamented, “The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me” (Ruth 1:21). After a period of great suffering, Job went so far as to ask God, “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?” (Job 3:11). And Jesus himself, in the depths of pain and suffering on the cross, cried out in despair “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Scripture makes it clear that no one is exempt from these feelings of hopelessness.
The Heidelberg Catechism, a preaching and teaching tool that came out of the Reformation, proposes a question in light of this reality: “What is your only comfort in life and death?”
As you read this, your answer might be, “I have no such comfort.” You may feel like nothing in your life has ever offered sufficient relief or peace in the midst of the pain and hardships you’ve experienced. If that’s how you feel, you are not alone—and there is hope for you.
Jesus assured his followers, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). The same is true for you. And although being a Christian does not guarantee a life free of pain or suffering, it does provide hope. In a world full of trials and change, Jesus Christ, who never leaves us alone, is our comfort.
The editors of Today devotional know that the topic of suffering fills the minds of many and have assembled a special series of free devotions entitled, “Our Only Comfort: A Devotional Series for Hard Times.” These devotions will walk you through themes of hope, comfort, and dealing with difficult times through the lens of Scripture, drawing you closer to the hope found in God. You can sign-up for a 21-day email series or a 7-day abridged version.
It is our prayer that these readings will encourage you as you seek hope in Christ. In these days that seem to offer little hope, we pray that you will find your only comfort in Jesus. Although sin and evil still exist in our world, Jesus came to establish the kingdom of God. His kingdom is already here and is yet still coming. And it is to Jesus that you belong.
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