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If you find yourself struggling with life, look to Jesus Christ and God's Word

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Ron HemphillIsaiah 40:8, "The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever."

Funny how fads come and go. Long hair, short hair no hair. Even the clothes we wear, I can remember wearing bell bottom jeans that were so tight from the waist to the knees then they became a parachute. Oh, let me not forget my colorful polyester shirt with a lapel collar open to the top of my stomach, oh those were the days, or so I thought at the time. Of course, if we keep our clothes long enough, they seem to come back into fashion.

So many other trends have come and gone. In the early days of psychology, Freud, Rogers, Jung and Skinner (to name a few) were the go-to theories. Sadly, so many people were stereotyped into this or that category and more harm than help was done in many cases.

Books, so many books have been written. I personally read a lot. So, I am not against books, I enjoy them, but Ecclesiastes 12:12 says, "And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh."

Still, one book still prevails, God's Word THE HOLY BIBLE. At times, man has tried to destroy the Bible, tearing it apart, even burning it. But today, it is still a best seller, written and translated in so many languages. In some countries the ministers only have one book out of the Bible, or many even only a few chapters from one of the books out of the Bible. That is what they preach over and over again.

Am I guessing at this, NO, I have been in some of those countries and witnessed it first-hand. As for me, well, I have more than a few Bibles in my home, in my office. So many different translations and none of them EVER grow old. I know I can always turn to the pages of this blessed book and find comfort, find peace, find the answer to my problems or questions. I enjoy allowing the Bible to speak for itself, instead of twisting or turning the scriptures to say what I want it to say or fit my problem or issue. 

So many people have asked me my take on this virus COVID-19, and when do I believe it will end? I don't know is both the long and short answer. But in spite of the virus, when the pandemic is over, God's Word will still be here, during and after the pandemic, during or after the virus, God's Word is still here. It still says what it says.

Yes, I understand some parts of the Bible are hard to understand and maybe even vague, but it is I who fails in my understanding, it is I who finds it vague. The more I read the Bible, the more I study the Bible, the more I understand and the clearer it gets. Do I still struggle with some parts? Yes, of course. I don't have the market cornered on it.

During the Great Depression, the Bible was all some people had, and they turned to the Bible to find comfort and relief from their stress and worry. Today, when our families are struck with sickness and disease, too many to name here, many have turned once again to the Bible to find comfort and peace from whatever "IT" is.

My message here in this article is simple. If you find yourself struggling or being sucked under in this whirlpool of life and you can't find help or relief, look to Jesus, look to God's beautiful Word. Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne."

I understand some of you have tried Church, tried reading the Bible and still struggle. But life is full of struggles, life is full of problems. Speaking for myself, when I have a problem or struggle, I will exhaust every avenue or support I can find. I refuse to give up, I refuse to give in. God's Word, the Holy Bible, has been the main source in my life. I still make mistakes, I still make blunders, I still turn to God's Word.

My favorite time of the day is morning. I rise early, my personal habit, I build a fire in the wood stove or add wood if it kept a fire, make myself a cup of coffee and sit down and read. I have the house to myself. My wife is still in bed sleeping, no kids or grandkids on a regular basis, so I have the living room to myself. I sit with my coffee, a warm fire and read.

I've lost count of how many times I've read the Bible cover to cover. Actually, I don't count, I just read. Each time I get more out of it, I love the stories, and, yes, some parts are hard or difficult to read. Still, I read.

The Bible NEVER goes out of style, the Bible is not a fad that fades away. It is anointed, living and waiting. Waiting? Yes, waiting on you to pick it up and enjoy God, your Heavenly Father to speak to you from the pages of the most wonderful book. If you are struggling or not, the Bible is still for you, it leaves no one out.

God Bless.

Pastor Ron Hemphill is the pastor at New Life Bible Chapel. He can be reached at 541-447-6543.

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