Find Comfort in Scripture
In these uncertain times, many of us are still reeling as we adjust to new realities, care for sick loved ones, grieve a loss, or battle weariness from a new work or home schedule. As Christians, our hope is in things unseen and we return again and again to the truth of Scripture, resting in its promises. As you spend time reading and journaling through the Bible, consider these five prompts to guide your study and reflection.
1. Be honest.
Be honest about how you are feeling. Highlight examples in the Psalms and books like Lamentations and Job where the writers aren't shy about telling God how they feel in their pain, confusion, exhaustion, and frustration (see Job 3:23-26). Biblical writers were often transparent and forthright with both their joys and hardships; we should be, too. Write out your honest thoughts alongside similar passages.
2. Learn about God's heart toward those who suffer.
Read through the Psalms of lament. How does the psalmist respond to God's faithfulness (see Psalm 103)? Read through large portions of books like Jeremiah and Job. How do the books end? What hope do they offer to those in Christ? Spend some time writing out ways that these stories give us hope in our own uncertain times.
3. Pray hopefully.
Use Scripture to pray for those who are hurting, sick, and lonely. Journal and pray through verses that speak to God's protection of the weak, the unshakeable hope we have in Christ, and the defeat of death because of Christ's resurrection (see Matthew 24:35).
The ESV Scripture Journal: New Testament Set includes 19 volumes, featuring the text of each New Testament book opposite lightly lined blank pages for recording notes and prayers—a great resource for personal Bible reading and reflection, group Bible studies, or sermon notes.
4. Focus on what's unchanging.
Reflect on what is unchanging about who God is when circumstances are shifting. Do a character study on the attributes of God. Go to Scripture to meditate on how he is unlike us—and why that is ultimately good news for us as finite beings (see Isaiah 55:8-9).
5. End with gratitude.
Read through passages that remind you of the rich mercy believers enjoy because of Christ. Record lists of the good gifts in your life and pray to embrace them fully—not just for their sake, but so that they might ultimately point you back to the Lord (see James 1:17).
Consider using these eight tips, and use a notebook or the margins of your ESV Journaling Bible to record thoughts and sermon notes.
Journaling can be a great way to actively engage with Scripture. Learn five ways to use our new journaling edition to enrich your time in God's Word.
Here are just a few ideas for how you might use the ESV Digital Scripture Journal to express your creativity and connect with God through Scripture.
It can be helpful to hear that there’s essentially no wrong way to go about journaling, and no real rules for it, but that it’s something you can really make your own.