Comfort in Suffering

Psalm 119:49-56
ז Zayin

Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. The arrogant mock me unmercifully, but I do not turn from your law. I remember, LORD, your ancient laws, and I find comfort in them. Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your law. Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge. In the night, LORD, I remember your name, that I may keep your law. This has been my practice: I obey your precepts.

James Stockdale was a U.S. Navy vice admiral and one of the most highly decorated officers in the history of the U.S. Navy. From September 9, 1968 until February 12, 1973, Stockdale was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Jim Collins interviewed Stockdale in his book Good to Great. Collins asked the admiral how he survived the Vietnam POW camp. Stockdale said, “I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted . . . that I would get out…. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

God’s Word gives us hope—a certain confidence. It never gives us the option to give up. We will go through difficult times, but even in the midst of our suffering, our comfort is in the fact that God’s “promise preserves my life.” Regardless of what comes, we know that in the end, through Christ, we will prevail.

Father, keep me strong in my suffering. Help me never lose faith in the end of the story. My certain confidence is in knowing that whatever I experience in this life, I will spend eternity with You. Through Christ, I will prevail. Thank You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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