Epistle #23: Comfort Verses

Dear Brothers and Sisters at St. Paul,

I have enjoyed reading your encouraging words each day.  I miss seeing you all in Church on Sunday mornings, and those of you who are there on Wednesday evenings for God Squad and Confirmation.

To be honest with you, I don’t feel like I have very much to offer by way of encouragement today.  These last few weeks have been busy adjusting to our new schedules and trying to meet educational needs for the kids, but this week we have hit a new reality where it really looks like this way of life is going to continue for a long time.  It’s been hard to accept.  I’ve gone through the positive thinking phase, the counting my blessings phase, I’m still trying to overcome the anxiety phase, and suddenly out of the blue I’ve been hit with anger and sadness when I least expected it.  I had a much more positive thought all typed up and ready to go this morning, but it’s not where I’m at and it felt hypocritical to send it.

So I got my Bible and turned back to the Psalms because this is where I go when I’m feeling lost and like life is spinning out of control and I can’t make sense of it.  These are my “comfort verses.”  As I type them out, I hope that if you are in this same space as I am, that these will comfort your heart also.

Psalm 34:4-89 and 18 “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.  This poor man (or woman – my insertion) cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.  The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.  Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!  Oh fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!”  “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 27:13-14  “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!  Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”  (Waiting is so hard to do, especially when there seems to be no end in sight.  I typically think of courage and strength as action words, not linked to something as passive as waiting.)

Psalm 4:8  “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Psalm 42:11  “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”

Psalm 55:22  “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Psalm 56:3-4  “When I am afraid I put my trust in you.  In God whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.  What can flesh do to me?”  (My Mom taught me these verses when I was little, and I still say them automatically when I’m afraid.)

Psalm 62:8  “Trust him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”

In closing, I’ve spent some time praying for you (especially our confirmation kids) and one of the things I’ve prayed for our church is from Phillipians 4:7 “{That} the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Peace be with you!

Heather Jelsma


Church office phone: 515-462-4270
Church office email: StPaulLutheranChurch@hotmail.com
Pastor Brian Mortenson email: StPaulPastor1941@gmail.com
Pastoral Emergencies: 605-351-0867