Within the wide variety of Christian devotionals, there is an offering for just about every need. As with Bible reading plans, selecting one depends upon specific needs and focuses. Whereas reading the Bible in a year or straight through from Genesis to Revelation may suit one person, another’s heart may be craving the particular message in a certain book of the Bible or spending more time digging deeper. The same can be said of devotional materials. What a blessing to have such a diverse yet Bible-based selection available!
Carolyn Larsen’s “Words of Comfort for Women” ministers to the heart of the woman who is overwhelmed. Even the book’s design reflects this, with each of the 90 readings brief yet gratifyingly concise and delineated by numbers rather than by days or dates. As such, it is appropriate as a daily devotional or as a reference to pick up on difficult days for comfort and encouragement. For the purpose of this review, I read it in large sections, and that works as well, truly giving a godly confidence boost! Beginning with a Scripture verse, each reading has a title, which is quite handy for locating whatever may be on your heart at the time. Every Scripture also clearly connects to the reading, and most are well-known, comfortably-familiar verses that remind us of God’s truth.
Women who would most benefit from and appreciate “Words of Comfort” include seasoned Christians who have matured in their faith. This is not to say that new Christians shouldn’t read it, but only that it seems to be geared toward those who are already familiar with the Bible and the Gospel message. Without a firm foundation of faith, I think that it would be more difficult to reap the full impact of the comfort it offers. Throughout these readings, Larsen emphasizes the Lord’s heart toward us: “He’s with you, offering strength, guidance, and comfort. Talk to him. Tell him how you’re feeling. Ask for his help.” The content is truly a soothing balm, but there is nothing particularly revelatory—again because its purpose is to encourage more so than to formally instruct. This devotional is meant to supplement regular Bible reading, as there is no inbuilt daily reading plan. These short messages are ideal for quick but meaningful reflection and reassurance, reminding each of us that “If you steadfastly keep your mind focused on God, his Word, and the ways you’ve seen his hand in your life, then you will experience peace that can come only from him.”
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.