There’s a problem with that assumption. Although it is true that the Bible offers comfort to Christians, it contains much that is hard to hear, too. The Old Testament is full of stories of human evil and depravity, and they can make for depressing reading. Where is the comfort in that? The New Testament is full of teaching for us to live right with God. The implication of all this is that we are miserable sinners who need to repent. If I were writing a book for encouragement, I would never include even half of the stories in the Bible.
Nevertheless, the Bible offers encouragement. The depressing stories of sin are in stark contrast to a patient God who has come to lift us out of the gutter and seat us in high places. No matter how dreary our circumstances, God is there to help us through, as he had helped the unbelieving, hard-headed Israelites in the past. We are not alone. The troubling circumstances we find ourselves in are temporary, for we have a future and a hope in the kingdom of God that will exist forever without evil or death.
What Do You Think?
a. How quickly and easily do you make up stories to find comfort? Have your stories given you comfort?
b. Is going to the movies to find short-term relief (a form of escapism) the same as finding comfort with the Bible? Why or why not?
c. Give an example of an untrue story people believe in that makes them happy. Are there ideas that help you and you’d rather they not be dispelled by an investigation?
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