Elder Richard G. Scott hit the nail on the head when he said this, "We live in trying times. I need not list all of the sources of evil in the world. It is not necessary to describe all of the possible challenges and heartaches that are a part of mortality. Each of us is intimately aware of our own struggles with temptation, pain, and sadness."
This post is simple — I want to share some of my favorite, and perhaps lesser known, scriptures that have comforted me. If your heart is heavy... if you feel an irrepressible gloom pervading your soul, I hope these "packages of light" will give you an added measure of peace.
1. Isaiah 26:3-4
"Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength."
"Everlasting strength" — now that is a beautiful promise. It reminds me of grace. Grace doesn't suddenly kick into action after you have given your best. It's like an engine. It is constantly running to give you that everlasting strength and love from God — every day, every hour, every minute.
2. Psalm 30:5
"For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
I'm a crier. I'm especially a crier at night when I reflect upon the day and seem only to notice my failures, my disappointments, and my pain. But joy does come in the morning... if not tomorrow morning, then the next morning, or the next, or the next. Sometimes, we have to look for joy.
3. Psalm 56:9
"When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know: for God is for me.
That truth, that "God is for me," ought to be branded into our souls. No matter what trials we face, no matter what mistakes we make, no matter how much the world changes, Heavenly Father loves us and watches over us. He is our Father, and we are His beloved children. And "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)
4. Psalm 4:1
"Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer."
There are times when we plead with Heavenly Father to hear our prayers. He hears them, but what happens when our petitions seem unanswered? We have to recognize that in these moments, He is enlarging our souls to be stronger. He is shaping our backs, so we can better bear our burdens.
5. Psalm 18:36
"Thou has enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip."
There's that word "enlarged" again. We all have mountains to climb and treacherous paths to walk. However hard these journeys are, Heavenly Father will not intervene by removing the mountains or smoothing the paths. Instead, He will enlarge our feet. In other words, we will be able to proceed with new strength and understanding. Heavenly Father shapes us and not the nature of our trials.
6. Romans 4:18
"Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be."
This scripture refers to Abraham, and I love the first part of the scripture. Sometimes, it seems as if life is flushing hope down the toilet. Do we believe in hope even when it seems like there is no hope? Because of Christ's Atonement, there is ALWAYS hope. The challenge is always believing that.
7. Romans 5:3-5
"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
When I think about my experiences with a mental disorder, I don't think I was patient. Nope, not at all. It's hard to be patient when you hurt so much. But I know that I have more experience, and I can give hope to others who are struggling. If only we can always remember that our trials refine us! They truly shape us into people who are stronger, wiser, more compassionate, and more beautiful.
8. James 4:3
"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss..."
When I was in the midst of despair and anguish, my prayers sounded like this, "Make it stop. Make it stop. Please, please, please... make it stop." Will Heavenly Father ever deprive us of the learning, the experience, and the growth that comes from trials? Nope. Do you have the courage to say, "Father, please bless me with the faith to accept whatever outcome Thou hast planned for me"? Do you have the faith to say, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done"?
9. Romans 8:18
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
I often get frustrated because I think my brain is broken. I sometimes wonder if the suffering that I have endured and that others have endured was/is all worth it. But the glory we shall receive if we endure patiently will be wonderful, beautiful, and breathtaking. We will understand why things happened the way they did. We will see how God was with us every step of the way. And it will be glorious.
It's okay if your heart feels heavy — it really is, and it happens to everybody. Luckily, we have so many resources at hand to bring us comfort, peace, and hope. God speaks to us through the scriptures. It's about time we bask in his loving words!