Today I was feeling discouraged because we are not having in-person worship this Sunday. There will be a pre-recorded service to watch this Sunday at 9:45 and 11:15 a.m., but I am disappointed we had to make this adjustment. I went to my computer and Googled “Scriptures about frustration.” Yes, you can do that and a whole list popped up. I then picked one of the scriptures and Googled it adding the words at the end, "The Message." That is a biblical translation created by Eugene Peterson. It is an easy, modern-day translation that makes the Bible easy to read. Yes, I just said that. It makes reading scripture easier. Let us be honest here for a moment. Reading your Bible is hard, and we often avoid it because when we do read, we are so confused by what we read that we give up. Of course, we don’t tell anyone. We do not want people to know we avoid reading our Bible. That is embarrassing. All Christians read their Bible, right? Guess what? You are probably in the majority if you struggle to read scripture.
So here is the passage I Googled today to help me with my frustration. It comes from the book of Isaiah and I especially love the second half, which gives me the most encouragement. Regardless of how I feel today, this Scripture reminds me that God has my back. It was just what I needed to hear today.
“But you, Israel, are my servant. You’re Jacob, my first choice, descendants of my good friend Abraham. I pulled you in from all over the world, called you in from every dark corner of the earth, Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side. I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” (Isaiah 41:8-10 The Message)
So here is my suggestion. Buy a copy of The Message for someone you love or for yourself this Christmas. It will help you read your Bible and it will bring you encouragement. It will make Bible-reading easier. Remember, reading your Bible is not about impressing anyone with your biblical knowledge. It is about drawing closer to God when you are discouraged. Anything that will help you do that is a blessing. Hold on to your other Bibles. This one is just to keep you reading. And yes, we will be back in person for worship on December 20. God has our back. We will be okay.
Blessings to you on this Friday,