Life is full of trouble. Don’t take my word for it, the Bible tells us this truth over and over again. There have been a few moments in my life when I’ve looked around at my family, the ministry I serve, the place where I live, the circumstances of our extended family, and my favorite team’s place in the standings and thought, “Life is good. I wish it would stay like this forever.”
But, it doesn’t.
One phone call, doctor’s visit, or letter from a lawyer can mess the whole thing up. Life is a roller coaster – but not one that is fun – rather – one that is terrifying.
That’s why we have God’s word. If I give you my word, I hope you can believe it. It would not be my intention to ever fail to deliver on a promise. But, sometimes because I am not all knowing or powerful, I make promises that in the end I can’t deliver on.
Not so with our heavenly Father. When we read His promises, we can take them to the bank. He knows everything and has all power to deliver on what He has said.
Psalm 119:50 is one of those for me right now. It reads, “This is my comfort in my affliction. Your promise has given me life.”
The part about this I love is that it is totally honest. It doesn’t promise that affliction will be absent from my life. It doesn’t say the phone won’t ring, the doctor won’t find anything wrong, and the letter from the lawyer won’t ever come.
It just says that the promise of God has done something for me that none of those roller coaster turns can ever take away – in the past tense it tells me He has already given me life, no matter what the affliction happens to be.
The Apostle Peter goes further to tell us that our affliction has a purpose on this earth and eventually in heaven.
“You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith – more valuable than gold which, though perishable is refined by fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:6-7, CSB)
“Grief in various trials.” Yep, that’s the roller coaster I’m on. But His Word – His promise – every time I read it…
…gives me life.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.