A word for the new year Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 February 2018
By Chaplain (Capt.) Courtney Merchant
Special to GUIDON

This past holiday block leave, my family and I experienced a significant loss.  

Each of us went through a variety of emotion and our faith was tested. During this time I had the opportunity to attend my father’s church and sat listening as the pastor spoke on the topic of the importance of God’s word as we enter into the new year.  He based his sermon on 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

The premise was simple; the Bible is God’s message that provides all essentials for both our physical and spiritual life (2 Peter 1:3).  As the pastor spoke, he referenced Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  

The very faith I had become dependent upon to provide the foundation for my personal relationship with the Lord was from the same source that had come to sustain my family and I though the dark days that lay ahead.  

Whether it is in seeking direction for my life, understanding God’s expectation on who I am as a husband and father, or how I am to conduct my behavior as a Soldier and chaplain, God’s word provides essential counsel in everything I experience.

As I sat in the same church in which only a few days earlier I said goodbye to someone I had loved so dearly, I was reminded that a faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted.  Those times in my life when I struggled in my spiritual pursuits, I found I had drifted from the scriptures while those times I was resolute and strong, I had been actively reading and studying the Bible.  

While I may not understand the reasons behind difficult experiences, I’m assured that I can find direction, comfort, hope, and peace during those times of troubles and that God’s grace is sufficient. I have come to learn that the amount of faith I can exhibit in my life is directionally proportional to the time I spend with the Lord invested in his word.  

(Editor’s note:  Merchant is 795th Military Police Battalion chaplain.)

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 February 2018 )