Remember the word to Your servant, upon which you have caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life. Psalm 119:49, 50.
God’s Word gives us hope in times of discouragement. It brings comfort in times of affliction. It imparts life in times of despair.
Pastor Pyoter Rumackik was imprisoned in a Soviet gulag for his faith. He discovered that even in our darkest times, God provides strength for our daily needs.
His experience became almost unbearable when prison officials took his Bible away. A few days later, a fellow prisoner handed him a notebook and said, “Here, read this poem.” The pastor glanced up and couldn’t believe his eyes. It was a poem about Christ’s sufferings on calvary. His spirit soared as he read it. He began flipping the pages and discovered more scripturally based poems and numerous passages of the Bible. They filled the entire notebook.
The unknown stranger announced, "It’s yours, you can keep it,” and walked away. That notebook filled with Bible passages and scriptural truth brought Pyoter great comfort during the next few years. It helped give him many precious moments of fellowship with God.
Later the Christian pastor discovered, to his surprise, that the prisoner who gave him the notebook was an atheist. While working alone as a shepherd late at night in the Mongolian highlands, he became fascinated with Christian radio programs. They lifted his spirits and provided inspiration during his solitary nights. He would tape programs and copy portions in notebooks to pass the time. Somehow he managed to smuggle one of his notebooks into the prison. He then felt inspired to give it to Pyoter. For the pastor, this Mongol shepherd seemed like the ravens that brought food to the prophet Elijah in the wilderness. God found a way to provide for his needs. All the power of the gulag guards could not keep God’s Word from penetrating his heart. The bars of a cell could not keep God’s Word out. The shackles of a prison could not chain the Word of God. God’s living Word provides strength for our daily needs in all of the varied circumstances of our lives.
As we read the precious promises of Scripture we too will declare, "For Your word has given me life.”