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Embracing a God of Comfort
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4 (NIV)
At first read, this verse sounds like a great contradiction. How can someone who mourns be blessed or happy? Where does the promise of comfort come from?
The kingdom of God is an upside-down Kingdom compared to the world’s. Jesus leaves us in the beatitudes not only a set of attitudes to take on but He gives us a sure promise that we can receive when we fully embrace His ways.
Over the last few months, I’ve known of families and individuals in our congregation that have lost a loved one and are going through mourning and grieving. I keep reflecting on the fact that we will experience this intense mourning at some point in our lives. The end of our lives, here on earth, will be inevitable for us all.
Losing a loved one is not the only circumstance that leads us to mourn deeply. It could come from a lost relationship, health, finances – losing anything “most dear to you” as Message Bible translation describes it:
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
– Matthew 5:4 (The Message)
Another “most dear to us” kind of loss that leads us to grieve is the loss of intimacy in our relationship with Jesus. This is when we recognize that the sin in our lives separated us from the One most dear to us. This kind of sorrow that leads us to return to Him with repentance.
“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” – 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT)
Whether our mourning comes from family loss, relationship brokenness, financial distress, health challenges, or personal shortcomings in God’s eyes, it is unadvisable to remain in that forever-mourning-state and believe that there is no way out. There is one! It is healthy to embrace a time of grieving, as Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 says … “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” This “laugh”, this “dance” will come as we embrace God and the His healing comfort in full measure. He desires to give it to us in our suffering. It is a sure promise. Matthew 5:4 says “you will be comforted”- and that is good news! We will be able to mourn well when we embrace God as our comforter in our suffering. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 points us to our God of comfort:
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (The Message)
God Himself, The Holy Spirit, comes alongside us in hard times, and He surely will bring people to come walk with you in your mourning. He promises His presence, His provision and His purpose. What a blessing that is!
So how can we move from mourning well to being comforted?
1. Embrace the Holy Spirit who has been sent to come alongside you.
The Greek word “comfort” in Matthew 5:4 “parakaleo” is similar to the Greek word for Holy Spirit “Parakleto” – Both have similar meanings “from close-behind”, “walk alongside”, “personally make a call”. The Holy Spirit is calling you and wants to walk with you, minister supernatural healing and peace that surpasses understanding in your heart. He will give you His presence and identify with your grief. Jesus is acquainted with your pain as He endured the cross for you (Isaiah 53:3).
Pastor Chris Hodges from Church of the Highlands quoted once “God shows up to people in unique ways to people who are going through bad ways.” He will be with you.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. – John 14:27 (NLT)
2. Embrace others being sent to you and reach out to others.
Many have experienced the similar hardship as you, and God is faithful to bring them alongside to pray, listen, and care for you. Embrace them and do not push them away. Do not mourn alone as you could be very vulnerable and need wise support in the grieving and healing process. The enemy desires to corner you and make you believe no one cares and there is no way out of your pain. For the same reason, reach out to others too. Be in community in a Small Group (Life Group, Freedom Session, INSTE or Alpha)! If you are not in one, let us know we love to connect you to one. He will provide healthy connections so you can heal.
What if you know someone experiencing a great loss?
- Pray with them, or for them own your personal prayer time.
- Send them a message or call them, let them know you are thinking of them.
- Let them talk, listen and don’t try to fix the situation.
- Grieving takes time – just be there for them and do not judge. Reassure them it is okey to grieve.
- Connect them with others that have experienced similar loss and have received comfort from God.
- Help them be involved in community, in small group
3. Embrace a new perspective and purpose.
When we have gone through a great loss or hard times, we tend to ask God Why? Why this happened? Why me? Why did you not do something? We believe that God is a sovereign God, and He is a comforting God. He does not cause pain nor creates obstacles on purpose to make us suffer. That is the Devil who tries to kill still and destroy. John 10:10 says that “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” He does though use everything for good Romans 8:28 says “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” He may allow challenging times to help us grow in character and brings a great purpose through it but will give you sufficient grace and comfort to walk through it. In that you would be able to comfort others. 2 Corinthians says that [God of all comfort] …”who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. He will comfort you so that you can in turn comfort those who will go through the same thing as you, and share God’s love for them.”
As you receive comfort, try asking God What? and not Why? – What I can do? What can I give? What can I learn? …
Suffering is not enjoyable, but if we remember that through it we experience His comfort and presence, and receive a revelation of who God is, then we will find a new purpose to present to others our God of comfort.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. – Romans 8:18 NKJV
No matter what you are going through today, know that He is with you and ready to bring comfort through His Holy Spirit, and through others. It might be that you are experiencing a great loss, take heart! He is ready to walk alongside you if you reach out to and accept Him – Jesus our Prince of Peace, the One Most Dear to You.
If you need prayer at this moment, feel free to reach in the prayer live chat online in our website. We’d love to pray for you.