January 08, 2020

Comfort in Suffering

Psalm 119:49-56

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

—  Psalm 119:50

As we noted earlier, we don’t know who wrote Psalm 119. Some people have suggested that maybe the prophet Daniel wrote it. If he did, the words in this section could echo his own life experience.

Filled with hatred, Daniel’s ­rivals mocked and scorned him. Daniel was a highly effective leader, and King Darius of Babylon put him in charge of one-third of the kingdom. But Daniel’s enemies hated him so much that they tricked the king into making a new law: whoever prayed to any god or person besides Darius the king would be thrown into the ­lions’ den. They did this because they knew Daniel prayed only to God and would never pray to Darius. Soon Daniel was seen praying to God, and he was thrown into the lions’ den at sundown the same day. All through that night, however, God protected Daniel, and his life was spared. (See Daniel 6.)

These words of Psalm 119 provide an inspiring example. The psalmist’s suffering drives him deeper into God’s Word, and he meditates on it even as he waits sleeplessly through the night, finding comfort in God’s promises.

No one likes to suffer, but we can take courage that suffering can actually move us closer to God. As we meditate on God’s Word, we experience ever more deeply his love and the comfort of his promise to preserve us.

Help us to remember your promises, Lord, and to find comfort in them. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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