I was sitting in my living room at two o’clock in the morning, suffering from severe insomnia. My wife, Linda, was recovering from painful back surgery in the hospital. A dear staff member had left our ministry and the state without telling me why. The pressures of our growing church surrounded me as I sat staring out my living room window. We were in desperate need of a new building, and yet the financial needs of such a project were great.

I knew I should pray, and yet when I opened my mouth to try to talk to the Lord, I couldn’t form the words. I was weary and unsure if I wanted to continue in ministry.

I opened my Bible to Psalm 71 and found hope. As I read, I began to pray:

In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. [Yes, Lord, please listen to me. I’m tired. I’m confused. I’m worried about Linda. I’ve been betrayed by a close friend. I’m concerned about the finances of the church.]

Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort . . . . [Lord, I know You are a strong Habitation. I’ve read in Your Word how You are a strong Shield to those who put their trust in You. And yet the pressures are so great that I don’t feel like trusting You.]

That morning, I saw God bring me comfort. My problems didn’t go away instantly, but He was there to help me in my deepest level of pain.

You may be going through a hard time right now. A close friend has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, a family member has committed suicide, your friends have turned against you, or you are having financial trouble or marriage problems. No matter what your difficulty may be, God can give you comfort. He is right beside you when life hurts. Read His Word and trust His promises, and you will know His peace.


Excerpted from Beyond Failure by Dr. James A. Scudder, Victory In Grace Ministries ©2010. Also available on Amazon Kindle.