Today’s episode was inspired by a friend of mine who just lost her son to fentanyl, and yet in the midst of her pain she still radiates the light, hope, and joy we have in Jesus. The Bible tells us that the tongue has the power of life and death. My friend is proof that even in the face of death, we can speak life and spread the love of God to those around us. I know it’s hard to keep from speaking death when our hearts have been ripped to shreds with grief. I buried a son too, and I can’t imagine anything hurting more than losing a child.
When we’re hurting, we don’t necessarily feel like praising God. But he isn’t any less worthy of praise. It’s certainly easier to praise God when we’re flying high, but we’re supposed to praise him at all times, not just when we’re flying high. Focusing on the truth in today’s declaration makes it a little easier.
Each day, God carries me in his arms.
When I repeat that phrase, I can picture God carrying me in one of two ways. Sometimes I feel like he has lifted me up with his arms in a show of celebration and victory. Like when a team lifts the most valuable player up on their shoulders and marches around with shouts and cheers after a big win. But other times, God carries me in his arms because if he didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to make it through the day. I might not even get out of bed because of the aching of my loss.
My friend asked me to speak at her son’s memorial service last Friday, and she asked me to make sure I told everyone about how to get saved. Her son came to faith in Jesus while he was in rehab, and then brought her to church with him, which is where we met. I got to pray with her and do Bible study with her and watch her not only grow in her own relationship with God, but also inspire others to get to know God better—just like her son had inspired her. My friend wanted her son’s death be an opportunity to talk about the victory we all have over death because of Jesus. She wanted it to be an occasion for everyone who came to pay their respects to know that the same arms of God that carried her son through rehab and carried her through the grief of his death would also carry them… through addiction, through fear, through anger, through anything to victory. Faith is the victory. Because of Jesus we are victorious over death! Sin and death cannot hold us down because of what Jesus did on the cross. He paid the price for our sin and then rose from the dead to give us new life. Whether we’re grieving or celebrating, we can trust in God’s love for us. We can trust that he will lift us up and carry us in his arms.
I’m excited to be teaching Women’s Bible study this fall, and I’ve posted the details as well as a registration form on my website. Please take a minute to check it out by visiting shawnamariebryant.com. The Bible study is based on my book, Longing to Belong, and it will teach you how to make a habit of reading the Bible not just for information, but also for conversation. We will take time each week to make declarations of truth. After all, your tongue has power. Use it for good.
This week’s scripture: Psalm 68:19-20