Find Comfort and Consolation in Times of Loss
What can you turn to when experiencing terrible loss? Don't we look first to what we know? Some look to what has helped them in the past, but sometimes trying to grab hold of something we keep coming up with empty hands. We search our memory, ask spouse, parents, friends, neighbors. They mean well with their cliches like God needed another angel, or she's in heaven now. Sometimes a shoulder shrugged or a sad face moving slowly side to side is better. We appreciate the friendship offered, but we would like something a little more solid. We want an answer.
The Bible is a lot more solid than its critics and many of its advocates realize. It has consistent lines of thought we can base our lives. If we look we will find solutions to life's most difficult situations. God's justice and mercy, his offer of eternal life, the source of faith, hope and love, all are there.
Trust in God to be God. God is the Great Creator. God didn't create this wonderfully beautiful, infinite universe to walk away from it. God had a plan from the beginning which included the need for Jesus and your need for a savior at a time like this.
Let's look at just one way we need a savior: to comfort us when confronted by inconsolable loss.
Job spoke that faith is a consolation: "Then I would still have this consolation-- my joy in unrelenting pain-- that I had not denied the words of the Holy One."
David writes, "My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life." "May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant."
Isaiah says, "For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones."
In Jeremiah, God speaks to his people, "I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow."
Paul writes, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort?"
But God knew that even the kindest words are not consolation enough when we are pressed by death, and so he sent his Son to save us, and still he sends his Spirit to bring us to him.
Jesus told his disciples, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
Have you ever considered that he was not making a speech but a sincere offer to do just what he said? These words are not part of some speech to gain support. It is an offer. Jesus is offering to help comfort you now if you turn to him, yes, if we would only turn to him and say, "Is that offer still good?"
From the time of his disciples, we Christians have held that as the Word of God, Christ appears thoughout Scripture as the Great Consoler. Christ makes the offer again and again from the most ancient books up to the last- see Revelation 3.20
Job 15:11,"Are the consolations of God too small for you, Even the word spoken gently with you?"
Psalm 94:19, "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul."
Luke 2:25, "Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him."
Jesus is our Consolation. What I meant in the title Find Comfort and Consolation in Times of Loss is best taken literally. Find comfort and consolation by seeing Jesus as Comfort, see Jesus as Consolation personified- the same way as we see Him as "the Way, the Truth and the Life."
Jesus is our consolation in this life (He can be understood as "our daily bread") and as we see in faith he will one day bring us to eternal life.
John 6:51, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
1 Thessalonians 4:17, "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."
Know that Jesus is praying for you even as we read this. He will be your hope and consolation.
A few more verses to meditate on?
Hebrews 7:24, "...but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them."
Psalm 16:11, "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
The Lord comforts us in our sorrows so that we may console others. God grant you rest and peace, may He grant you the faith you need to find that peace that passes understanding.