“. . . so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” (Romans 15:4, NIV).
Robert, a farmer in Ghana, Africa, was comforted along with his four sons by God’s Word after the death of his wife. He seemed to be doing well, but his heart broke when the season for planting seeds arrived. Because this work was usually done by his wife, Robert was deeply saddened.
As he cried, his eldest son asked him what was the matter. Robert confessed the reason for his weeping. His son reminded his dad of the Bible verses in their mother tongue, with which they had earlier been comforted with hope.
“Dad, the other day we read James 1:2-4, which is an encouragement concerning trials,” the son said. “Are you going to allow this trial to overcome you? Remember, we also read 1 Corinthians 15:35-44, which has to do with resurrection and the new body. Now why are you acting like this?”
Recalls Robert, “I was greatly moved by these encouraging words from my son. However, if we had been reading the English version [of the Bible] a few days earlier, I don’t think my son would have understood the depth of the Scriptures’ message.”
Loss of loved ones through disease; religious, political or cultural persecution; or wars and natural disasters leave deep scars and wounds in people’s hearts and minds. Those who are traumatized need a lot of help; not just simple comfort, but real hope through faith in God.
Today’s passage reminds us that the Scriptures were written not just for posterity. God inspired them to be recorded so they could teach believers about endurance; to provide encouragement that builds hope and trust in the Lord, no matter the circumstances.
Drench your heart and mind in God’s story from Genesis to Revelation! When challenges come, these wonderful words can supply comfort and hope.