Tag Archive | comfort

Temporary good-bye

I Thessalonians 4:14-18 – “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

Well, I find myself on the road again. This time, we are headed to a funeral. Grandpa lost his battle here on earth but won a far greater prize – the presence of Jesus. As my little niece so appropriately put it, “Grandpa closed his eyes and when he opened them again, he saw Jesus.” How cool is that!

But as comforting as it is to know that he is in the presence of His Savior, we still have to say good-bye or rather, so long for now. And that’s not always the easiest task to accomplish. 

You see, we all are a bit selfish. We want him here. We don’t want to have to face all the challenges of living without him. We want it to be easy. We want to go up to his house and have him go with us to get the 4 wheeler out of the shed. We want to see him stand at the gate to the pasture and call the cows. We want to fuss at him about not putting his own socks on (long story). We want to hear him give grandma a hard time and laugh at his quirky little ways. But that’s not the case with this trip.

This time, we go to comfort one another. We go to say our “so-long for now” and to lay him to rest. We go to remember. We go to cry. We go to laugh. We go to give our support.

But one day, in the not too distant future, I imagine, we will see him again. We will see him, my dad, my grandma, my other grandpa, my uncles, and all the friends and loved ones who have gone on before us to the presence of God. Jesus will come back. Those graves we so diligently keep will burst open. We who are left will meet Jesus in the air. Oh….I can’t wait! Even so Lord Jesus come!

So amongst all the tears and sadness, I will be holding to hope. I will be smiling on the inside because I know this is just a temporary good-bye. This is just another bump in the road. Grandpa knew it. Daddy knew it. All of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior know it. Death is hard. Death is sad. Death seems so final. But it’s not. Jesus has overcome death. And that is why I will be smiling on the inside – because I know it is just temporary.

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Jesus, my friend

Proverbs 18:24 – “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 17:17a – “A friend loveth at all times…”

We all have friends. We have friends that we can talk to when things are tough. We have friends to laugh with us when life is crazy. And we have friends who will cry with us when life is overwhelming.

Yesterday, I was listening to “Jesus, Friend of Sinners”. Do you remember that song? It seemed like it had been ages since I had heard that one. And it made me stop and think.

We have been studying about God and the Trinity in Sunday school class this unit. One of the things that the writer is attempting to get the students to appreciate is the holiness of Jesus, how He is righteous and worthy of our praise.

How can someone like that be friends with someone like me? I’m the one that takes one step forward and two steps back. I’m the one that is grateful that my thoughts are not projected up onto a video screen. I’m the one that seems to go around with my foot in my mouth more often than not.

Why would Jesus want to be friends with the likes of me?

Because I have given Him my life.

John 15: 14-17 – “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have call you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in  my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.”

Jesus is speaking to His friends here, the disciples. However, this promise of friendship extends to us. He wants us to love one another. He wants us to bear fruit, lasting fruit. He wants to be our friend. He has preserved His Word throughout all these generations, all these battles and dark times, so that we would have the opportunity and the privilege to be His friend.

So today, won’t you let Him be your friend? Won’t you let Him laugh with you, cry with you, comfort you and give you advice? And if you choose to let Him be your friend, shouldn’t you be a friend back and listen and be comforted and allow Him the opportunity to share in your joy?

Friendship is a two-way street. You have to be one to have one. Jesus doesn’t need us to be His friend, but we definitely need Him to be ours.

Home

Matthew 28:19b – “and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

There is just something about home. Whenever you have had a really long day and life has been piling up on you like crazy, it is good to go home. It is good to have a place to “hang your hat” and just relax. Every one needs a place to kick off their shoes, put their feet up and be brain dead for a bit.

Of course, you know me, I woke up at 4 in the morning to go to the bathroom and had a song in my head. On Sunday night, we had 5th Sunday sing. One of the songs requested to sing as a congregational was “Anywhere is Home.” Here are the lyrics:

1 Earthly wealth and fame may never come to me,
And a palace fair here mine may never be;
But let come what may, if Christ for me doth care,
Anywhere is home, if He is only there.

Refrain:
Anywhere is home, let come and go what may;
Anywhere I roam, He keeps me all the way;
So for His dear sake, my cross I’ll meekly bear;
Anywhere is home, if Christ, my Lord, is there.

2 Oh, I’m tossed about and driven by the foe,
Sad within, without, wherever I may go;
But I press along, still looking up in prayer,
For it’s home, sweet home, if Christ is only there. [Refrain]

3 I will labor on till I am called away,
Till the morn shall dawn of that eternal day,
Looking unto Him who keeps me in His care;
Anywhere is home, if Christ, my Lord, is there. [Refrain]

What a great song!

There is a joke in my family that my mom writes our address in pencil in her address book because we have moved so much. And true, we have lived in a number of locations. But no matter where we have lived, we have had one constant – Jesus has always been with us. We have always had love in our home and peace in our presence because of Him.

I’m not sure why this song was in my head this morning, but as I got up to start my day, it gave me comfort. No matter where I go, no matter what I do, I am home as long as Christ is with me.

Oh, I still need somewhere to kick up my feet and chill, but “home is where the heart is”. I want my home to be with Jesus. I want His presence to be the place where I am completely and totally at peace. I want His joy to be what lights my day even when I am burdened down with a load of care. I want to keep on going because I know that He is with me every step of the way.

So let me encourage you today – you may not have the most lavish place to live here on earth, the carpet may be stained and the kitchen a mess – but “anywhere is ‘home sweet home’ if Christ, my Lord, is (only) there.”

The Comforter

John 14:26 – “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

Jesus was getting ready to go to the cross in this verse. He is trying to prepare His disciples for this event. He wanted to give them comfort in their time of sorrow.

Yet, this verse reaches through time to provide comfort for us today. We know that we do not have Jesus to walk and talk with us physically, but we have the Comforter to do the same thing that we desire of Jesus. We have part of God walking with us and talking with us on a daily basis.

This is how we learn. The Holy Spirit teaches us all things. When you are sitting and reading your Bible, this Comforter is there with you showing you the truths of God’s word. When you are sitting in church services listening to a pastor or teacher, the Comforter is there with you opening your heart to the message God is teaching you. How cool is that!

And when you are out doing your thing during the day and someone brings up something about the Bible and they don’t remember it exactly, who do you think reminds you of what Scripture says? The Comforter. He helps you to remember where things are at in the Word. He helps you remember what the Word says when you are faced with difficult choices and decisions. He reminds you to pray. He reminds you to keep your mouth shut. He reminds you to open your mouth and invite someone to church or tell them about His saving grace.

Princess, the Holy Spirit is a portion of our life that I fear that we sorely neglect and fail to utilize. We need to engage this blessing and let Him show us the more Perfect way. So today, let me encourage you to give the Comforter room to work in your life. You can’t really go at it alone and expect to be successful. You have to let Him lead you in the way of righteousness each and every day that God gives us life on this earth.

Comfort

2 Corinthians 1:3,4 – “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

You know, sometimes when it rains, it pours. We have a family at our church, a big family, that has had a monsoon in their lives. First of all, one of their relatives who has been sick for years has passed away. Some of that family has spent countless hours in the car taking him to the VA to receive medical attention. Another member of their family, a little boy, has spent the last several days in the hospital with a rare strand of e-coli. He’s been super sick. Yet another member of the family is in the final stages of selling and moving out of a home in another state. All the members are actively involved in church and have multiple roles they fulfill. And that is just the side that I know personally.

But the one thing that they have going for them that is keeping them from drowning in the sea is Jesus. They seek Him and they follow Him and they trust Him. They aren’t perfect, none of us are. But they have a Comforter who cares. They have Him who can calm the seas. They have Him who holds them and strengthens them when they feel they cannot take one more step.

God never promised us a smooth sailing worry-free life. He never said that being saved was easy. In fact, He warned us that it is quite the opposite. But He did make the promise that He would never leave us nor forsake us. And He promised to comfort us. And when we are comforted, we are to comfort others. One way to do that is to pray. Prayer is a powerful tool that can heal anything, even a broken heart.

So today, princess, pray for comfort. We are all surrounded by hurting people. They need to see God’s love. They need to experience His comfort. So go ahead, give some away.

Ohana

Jeremiah 24:7 – “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.”

I think that most everyone has seen the movie with the toys that come to life in the little boy’s bedroom. The little guy writes his name on his toys. This makes the toys feel special and loved. They feel that being lost or forgotten is the worst punishment a toy could endure. Just like in another children’s movie the phrase is made: “Ohana means family. And family means no one gets lost or forgotten.”

God has created a very special “Ohana”. He has written His name on our hearts. He has given us a heart to love and seek after Him.

We have a lot of people wandering around out there in the world that feel lost and forgotten. The devil has convinced them that they are of no use or value to anyone, especially God. Even followers of Christ can get lured into this false idea. They might find themselves in a valley that seems to have no way out and they feel all alone. Friend, remember, you never walk anywhere alone when you have chosen Jesus as your Savior. Some times He is just waiting for you to come to Him. Maybe you have run off and left Him. Turn around and run back.

Remember in that movie I was talking about? The toys got lost and they set out on a journey to get back to their owner and their family. Today, if you find yourself floundering around in the world and you feel like a fish out of water, go back. Find your “Ohana” and seek shelter with your Owner, the Owner of your heart and soul. Let Him comfort and keep you.