The Comfort of the Scriptures

God’s word is full of wonderful stories, encouraging examples, and comforting words. However, is the Bible merely a good book of stories, but lacking any authority or power? Many would argue that the Bible is just full of good anecdotal messages, but is not given from an omnipotent God. Others might feign faith in God, but treat His word as a tool to only excuse their sinful behavior, ignoring passages that expressly condemn false worship and immorality.

Sure, the Bible is a good book. It certainly is an encouraging one. The Bible is a comforting book that is able to touch our hearts, minds, and souls. The Bible claims to be all of these things: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4, KJV

However, the Scriptures are so much more! The word of God is something truly remarkable, authoritative, encouraging, and comforting. Consider what makes the word of God so comforting to us.

God’s Word Is Truth. The Lord Jesus identified the word of God as truth (John 17:17). It is based upon that fundamental aspect that we must understand Paul’s statement about how the Scriptures are to be understood and used in 2 Timothy 3:16. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16). The term inspiration means “God-breathed.” The Scriptures are the very words breathed and mouthed by God. It is how He has communicated to us today. Thus, the statement that Jesus made about God’s word: “thy word is truth” (John 17:17) is an apt description of the Scriptures. The Bible ought to be a source of comfort because we read what is right and true. No falsehood is contained in the Scriptures. There is no lie that we will ever read in the word of God. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). So His words cannot be anything but true.

It is refreshing that we have a book that we can open, read, and understand. A book that will not deceive us, nor cause us to stumble. So we may trust the words that we read, the glorious word of truth that leads to salvation (Ephesians 1:13). Some treat the word of God as if it does not hold any truth, though. Some will make statements such as “God’s word has just spoken to you one way, and to me another way.” Consider such a foolish statement. What would you say about me if I told you that my favorite single topping pizza was sausage pizza, but then told someone else my favorite single topping pizza was pepperoni? You would think that I was lying to one (or both) of the persons I spoke to. Why would we treat the application of God’s word as a lie, rather than the truth that He intended for us to believe and practice?

God’s Word Teaches Us Not To Sin. The psalmist stated that he had hidden the word of God in his heart so that he may not sin against God (Psalm 119:11). Perhaps this is the greatest cause for comfort to be found in the Scriptures. When we search the Scriptures and examine our lives, we may know what is acceptable unto God (Ephesians 5:10-12). Sin is not to be in the life of a Christian and it should be abstained from. We do not have to guess as to what is acceptable before God’s sight, thankfully. We have His revealed word to teach us and guide us. We may know that fornication and covetousness is wrong (Ephesians 5:3). We may also know that evil speaking is sinful (Ephesians 4:31). Drinking is sinful, too (Ephesians 5:18). All of these things are evil and displeasing to God. They are contrary to walking wisely (Ephesians 5:15). True wisdom comes from God’s word.

God’s Word Reveals God’s Character. We learn about how God is love (1 John 4:8). We learn how God is just (Romans 3:26). We also learn of how God is gracious (1 Peter 5:10). All of these characteristics play a part in how God deals with people. When we listen to the words that someone speaks, then we learn a great deal about their character. The same is true when we listen to God’s words – we learn about God! We begin to understand how He interacts with people and how He treats them. Through a study of the Bible, we begin to know God. His word teaches us that the God of heaven deals justly with His creation. For those who are disobedient to His word, judgment and punishment are promised. Those who are faithful to His commands can rest assured of receiving the goodness of God (Romans 11:22).

How does comfort come from God’s word? It comes through a better understanding of God Himself. When we understand that His word is truth, how we should please Him, and how He will judge His people, then we will learn the true comfort that is found in God’s word. We should heed His commands and His words. They are the very source of spiritual comfort, success, and happiness. “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me” (Psalm 119:50). Praise God that we have His word to comfort us!

by Sean Cavender