Comfort For The Grieving
Read Isaiah Chapter 57
Isa 57:1 The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. 2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
Today’s topic will take us far away from SSA. I hope you don’t mind missing a day related to that subject. There is a great need today for Christians to have a better understanding of death, in particular the death of someone they dearly love. There will naturally be grief when someone we care for passes from this life. Grief is a natural part of what we go through when that happens. It’s never easy, but it is something with which all of us have to learn how to cope.
If our loved one is a Christian, God has some great words of comfort to help us get through this process. This passage from Isaiah is one of three we will look at today.
Sometimes, God’s plan is that some of His children should not have to endure any more of the rigors and hardships of this life. We can never fully understand the mind of God, but we can accept His decisions to some extent. This verse aids in that regard. Some of His children are spared sufferings of evil in this world. It very well may be that someone we love is taken home by the Lord so that they will not have to endure evil.
I think there is a biblical example of this. Early in the ministry of the disciples, soon after Jesus’ ascension, both Peter and James were imprisoned. Peter was spared by God and miraculously released from jail, while James was left in jail and was beheaded. Why? I am guessing that God wanted to spare James. Why James? Why not James and Peter? Only God knows for sure. Why did Peter have to endure a lifetime of persecution? We don’t know. Nevertheless, when we lose a loved one, it could very well be to spare them from evil.
Verse 2 gives us more comfort. Our loved one has now entered into peace – a greater peace than we can ever imagine while in these earthly bodies. Our loved one will find rest; a rest that is also beyond the scope of our comprehension. You might say that death is really the beginning of life, real life.
Ps 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.
This is a simple verse with a simple message. The Lord is fully aware each time one of His children dies. He is fully engaged in the process and He surely makes sure that person is ushered into His presence, completely unharmed. The Lord is actually overjoyed when one of His own comes to live with Him for eternity. That thought should give us enormous comfort when we think of those who have passed away. Truly, there is nothing better that could happen to anyone we love.
Rev 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
Here is another verse which echoes the same sentiment in Psalm 116. “Blessed are those who die in the Lord.” It adds two other thoughts. They will rest from their labor, and their deeds will follow them. Both of these results of death are good things. When a Christian passes away, he rests from his labor on earth. Can anyone deny that life on this earth, at best, is hard labor? When a Christian enters Heaven, his bad deeds will not be counted against him. But he will receive great reward for his good deeds, those things done through the direction and supervision of the Holy Spirit.
Surely we will grieve, but as we do, we must eventually be happy that someone we love will no longer experience temptation, sadness, depression, loneliness, fear, worry, disappointment, stress, financial woes, and the list goes on and on. Someday we will join them in this blissful state, nevermore to endure any kind of emotional turmoil. Thank You, Jesus!
Prayer: Lord, help us to understand what happens when Your children pass from this life. Comfort us with these passages, and with Your Holy Spirit. We not only look forward to the day when we join the other saints who have gone on before us, but we rejoice that they are now with You, having not a care or worry of any kind, forever.