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The Bible is an unusual book in so many ways. The Scriptures have sometimes been described as an instruction book for life, and they do indeed provide important wisdom and guidance from our Creator about the best way to live fulfilling and happy lives. But while most instructions booklets and self-help guides presume quite a bit from those who read them, the Bible speaks to us exactly where we are, with a striking realism about how difficult life so often is. It speaks to the hurting, the broken and those who have little apparent hope. It’s stories, promises and advice were not meant for the wealthy and educated who have it all together and feel like they are on top of the world. Many of the words of comfort it contains are spoken by individuals who met with loss, calamity and heartache themselves – and surprisingly, they often speak these insightful words from the midst of their greatest trouble. You may well recognize your own circumstances as you read about theirs, and as you do, we pray that the comfort they found in God would also be an encouragement to you. Many of the passages from the Scriptures we have included in this booklet will sound familiar because they have helped so many others before you and have often been quoted, alluded to in great literature and sometimes even made into song. We pray that in your life now, they may point the way to a better path ahead.