When times are good and nothing bad is happening, we can take anything, any philosophy or biblical doctrine, and in our leisure time we discuss it and mull over every minute detail. This is OK in the case of biblical doctrine. The Lord gives us time to examine the details. That's good, to go deep.
But when tragedy comes, we don't have time for close examination and hyper-detailed discussions over tiny threads of doctrine. Take the Titanic sinking. If I was in the water and someone threw me a life ring, I would not stop to discuss whether it was made of fiberglass or polyurethane or cotton. I wouldn't have a discussion in the water with the next survivor over the fact that the ring is round and rather should be square. I would simply grab it and cling to it.
When tragedy comes, I run to the bible. I don't study it. I don't mull over the lexicon and the different word definitions. I don't read the parallel verses. I don't study the overview of the writer and his audience and the message's purpose.
I just read it.
How does just reading the bible help when tragedy strikes? The bible is a supernatural book. It is from Heaven. It is not just words on the page. It is a heavenly sent Spirit-breathed and God-inspired book. One definition of the Doctrine of Inspiration states of the bible: "It is God superintending human authors, so that using their own individual personalities, experiences, thought processes and vocabularies they composed and recorded without error His revelation in the original copies of scripture."
As John MacArthur restated it, "God spoke through men without violating their thought processes and their own vocabularies, and yet they were able to produce scripture without violating His truth."
Thus, the words of God pierce the soul sometimes in ways we cannot articulate, but nonetheless speak truth to us. Here is a beautiful example of that.
I was teaching the first and second grades on Wednesdays night. I had a good-sized group of 6 and 7 year olds. Mostly boys. Active boys, lol. It never failed to impress me and the other leader ladies in the room how the children stilled to hear the bible lesson. Anyway, as we got ready this particular night to start the lesson, one thing the kids had to do was open their bibles and turn to the page of text from which the curriculum was to be taught. Because their fine motor skills were immature, they had a hard time with this. It took a few minutes to get all 12 kids opened to the right page and their finger on the right verse. Some kids got there faster than others.
I had one second grade boy who had turned to the verse very quickly and being in second grade, was able to read well. It was from Psalm 100:1-5
"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
This boy re-read the first line by himself, in a quiet voice. I was watching him and listening. "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands..." He stopped. He played with his shoelace and was quiet for a minute. Then he whispered aloud to no one,
"I like that. I don't know why I like that. But I like it."
THIS is why reading the bible on days of national tragedy or personal stress can help us. Mark 10:15 says, "Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."
This boy allowed the Spirit to apply truth and beauty to his heart. He let the Holy inspired words wash over him and rest there, with no ability to articulate why it had blessed him, but he understood it was a blessing and he acknowledged it!
Romans 14:17 says that "for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
To me this means not a joy we manufacture or feel on our own, but the joy in Him that the Spirit brings forth to us through His word. I don't see supernatural things in the world today like the ancient peoples did, of rivers drying up or Red Sea parting or a plague of frogs raining down, but I do see the supernatural. This boy accepting with joy and peace the truth of the Spirit-inspired word to his heart and soul was a visible supernatural event of the Spirit's work of comfort.
In the trying times, race to the bible. The Spirit wants to comfort you. Let Him. Read it as if it is the Titanic's life ring surrounding your body, buoying you up over the cold waters that swamp you. Because, it IS.
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