Psalm 119:50 — “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”
How do we heal? It is a question we need to address and seek honest answers to where no easy answers are found. Healing is necessary in our present state and given our present world conditions. Healing is necessary because our communities are severely traumatized, and the trauma is getting worse by the day.
The American Psychological Association (APA) defines trauma as “an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster.” APA further notes that “immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea.”
I am writing this article while reflecting on the tough week of traumatic events we’ve all endured in Indianapolis and nationwide. These events include the present pandemic (COVID-19) that continues to rage in spite of social distancing, masking and vaccines.
The trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin has focused more on the human frailty of George Floyd versus his apparent death from having Chavin’s knee on his neck for well over 9 minutes. Just 10 miles away from the tragic death of George Floyd, 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a Black male, lost his life in a police-action shooting during a traffic stop.
Thirteen-year-old Adam Toledo, a brown male, lost his life in Chicago at the other end of yet another police-action shooting. And on the morning of April 16, here in the city of Indianapolis, we awoke to the news of eight people tragically murdered by a 19-year-old at a local FedEx facility. The FedEx massacre is but one more mass shooting in our nation in 2021, with three of those mass shootings happening right here in Indianapolis.
I talk to people every day who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence. Families that are grieving and seeking answers as to how we heal from the devastation and ensuing trauma. Trauma abounds in our city and our nation. Trauma that continues to open wounds which have not yet had time to heal.
The Bible gives us an assurance that God is the source of our healing from all hurt and trauma. The psalmist notes that our “comfort” comes from knowing and embracing God’s promises. The longest chapter in the Bible, this psalm has been one of great historical interest. Charles Spurgeon notes: “This wonderful psalm, from its greatest length, helps us wonder at the great immensity of scripture.”
What are the promises of God and how do these promises help us to heal from the trauma we are facing daily? Psalm 119:50 clearly states: “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.” Enduring Word Commentary states: “When the psalmist recalled how faithfully and powerfully God’s word had brought him comfort in the past, he found comfort in his present condition.” The psalmist found healing from his trauma.
There are over 8,000 promises of God in Scripture. Promises to heal sickness and disease. Promises of salvation and restoration. Promises of help and hope. Promises that help us triumph over trials, tribulations and trauma.
Healing comes from God’s promises. God’s promises are found in God’s word. Believers should remember that God’s word gives life. This is the comfort experienced by the psalmist, and the comfort available to us today.
Dr. Preston T. Adams III is senior pastor at Amazing Grace Christian Church in Indianapolis. Contact Pastor Adams via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @DrPrestonTAdams. For more information, visit agccindy.org.