“Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]. But if we are troubled and distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted and encouraged, it is for your comfort, which works [in you] when you patiently endure the same sufferings which we experience. And our hope for you [our confident expectation of good for you] is firmly grounded [assured and unshaken], since we know that just as you share as partners in our sufferings, so also you share as partners in our comfort.”
2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-7 AMP
Happy Thursday! It’s a great time to seek forgiveness and to forgive others.
The older I grow, the more funerals I attend. This week two funerals are on my agenda. The hardest funerals for me are the ones where a child has died, and ones where intense grief is expressed. I also, out of selfishness, sometimes have trouble getting through funerals where I think the person was not a Christian, or that remind me of a something similar. Finally, I have a difficult time with funerals where sad music is played.
In Genesis 5:22-24 we learn that Enoch was taken to heaven without dying. Second Kings 2:11 tells us that Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. There maybe others, but the majority of us are not getting out of this life without dying. It’s something we all have to do. That doesn’t really take away fear related to death.
As Christians we know that when our earthly life is over, we will continue on a spiritual journey. This brings me great comfort, because I’m looking forward to serving God in a new capacity. That provides personal comfort, but what about when someone we know passes? The emotional pain can be more than any physical pain we have ever known. I’ve heard people say that they lost a piece of their heart. It’s a pain that doesn’t go away quickly. In my own life, I’ve found myself looking for the one who passed, knowing good and well they aren’t here anymore. I miss them so much. That’s when we have to be comforted by knowing that through Christ’s sufferings we will see our loved ones again. It’s like, as Billy Graham said, “changing addresses”. So, if our loved ones are Christians, we will see them and rejoice in heaven. That’s nice to know. We still have to go through the grieving process, which can be very difficult. We still miss our loved ones. Yet, there is hope around the corner that we will be reunited.
Over time I have found myself struggling with loss of adult family and friends who I feel certain were not Christians. As much as we may sometimes want to force people to make the right choice, we can’t. Everyone has a choice. Yet, sometimes people accept Christ as their personal savior in their last moments. There are other people who might not want you to be aware of their decisions. At the end of the day, it is their choice. Always remember that none of us are promised tomorrow. Make the most of your time in the best ways possible. Be the best Christian you can be. Then, when a family member passes, celebrate their life. Don’t mourn their death. Remember the good times and their contributions.
If you have lost a loved one, give yourself time to grieve. It’s normal. Let people help you. Read the scriptures and celebrate the passing of your loved one. Praise God with your every breath and know that your spiritual life will be unbelievable! God bless you!