Things the World Does Not Need to Know

The airwaves are contaminated with information that is clouding the heavens and the earth, shutting out the goodness and glory of the Lord our God. The world is polluted with a poison that spews from the heart, lips, and fingers. Instead of using social media as a place for our secrets, our complaints or our achievements, let us be spreading the Good News of Life in the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Should there be a difference in what we as Christians make public?
How do we determine what we share through social media?

These questions led me to search God’s Word for what He wants us to publicize. We will look at four areas: Our deepest secrets and sins; oudisappointments; our fears and anger; our achievements.
As we scan the following references, let us stop and meditate on those we should heed.

Our Deepest Secrets and Sins
Many consider that sharing our sins before the world can make others feel better about themselves. Let us read what our Lord has to say about our sins.

 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
Isaiah 43:25

He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: Galatians 1:4

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Ephesians 1:7

What We Should Remember and Share with Others
We learn from the following references that we are to confess our sins to the Lord.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 1 John 2:1

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19

We have been quickened (brought to new life) who were dead in trespasses and sinsEphesians 2:1

When James 5:16 speaks of confessing our faults one to another, this does not mean the sins of which we have been forgiven. He is speaking of needs in present circumstances when in times of prayer for one another. This might also relate to the confession of faults against one another.

Disappointments and Sorrows
If we continue to talk about our disappointments – either from childhood or as adults – about our griefs, and sorrows – our minds and hearts will not heal.
What does the Bible teach us about these things?

Our comfort is given by the Lord through His Word and His Spirit.

 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. Psalm 119:50

Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. Psalm 119:76

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4

One of the most remembered references is Psalm 23:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. Psalm 94:19

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit as the Comforter in His place

 

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

We see in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 the means of comfort in the body of Christ among believers.

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Our Fears and Anxiety
Fear turns into anger toward those we think are responsible for the ills and chaos of the world. Social media is the means for many to strike out — to make their anger known. This does not alleviate the problems that cause our distress. It simply causes more upheaval.
What should we do as believers, followers of Christ our Lord?

Paul wrote the following to the Philippian believers.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9

I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20

Our Achievements
As children of our heavenly Father, we need not boast of our accomplishments. All that we have is of His mercy and grace and for His glory.

For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. John 12:43

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boastersproud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 2 Timothy 3:2

Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. Psalm 49:12

 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase. Daniel 4:37

The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Psalm 12:3

Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. Proverbs 27:2

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30

 

Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power,
and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:
for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine;
thine is the kingdom, O Lord,
and thou art exalted as head above all.
1 Chronicles 29:11

Dear Father in heaven, search us and know our hearts, try us and know our thoughts and see what is in us that needs to be displaced with your thoughts and words. Forgive us for wasting your time and the talents you have given us; enable us to use the means of communication in this world to proclaim your love, truth, grace, righteousness, and glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran
Images: Google

SELF-DESTRUCTION ~ Part 3

LIFE in Christ for those Left Behind

To the family, parents, and friends I-Will-Come-to-You-by-StudioJRUof one who has committed this final act I want to share God’s comfort.  Such a death can bring grief that is sometimes greater than what is experienced in losing someone by natural means.  Telling you that you are not alone will not help to make this easier for you.  While there are many other families and friends who have experienced this same kind of loss this does not alleviate your suffering.  It is a personal loss as is any loss; as if it has happened for the first time.  God has given each of us a heart that feels and experiences the joys and sorrows of this life.  For some, like your loved one, sorrow may have been all that they knew.  Or perhaps, though a happy child, as far as you knew, he or she had influences in their life that you did not know about.  One such turn of events can trigger a direction that they cannot comprehend or overcome.  (We speak later of this to those whose children have tried unsuccessfully to end their life.)

If you are a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ, I have already addressed your position in part 1 of this article.  The same Spirit of Christ that has saved you is the one who will speak to your heart through your loss.  He is the one who will bring you through this tragedy to overcome your grief.

Overcoming Guilt
Christ is the same shepherd and provider who will bring you past any guilt that you may have. The parents of suicide victims often ask, “Why did I not know what was going on with my son or daughter?”
“Why did I not see the signs?”
Or if you did see signs, and didn’t know what to do, you may still have to live with this for a while.  I say for a while, because whatever you are dealing with is part of your relationship with the Lord God, your heavenly Father; and He will enable you to overcome to the point of ministering in His name through this tragedy.

The actions of those who take their own life affect the lives of those they leave behind.  Their thinking can poison your thinking.  Satan can use the death of others to damage our own lives; to distract and take our eyes off God’s plan and goal for us.
With so many deaths recently, either by suicide or cancer, my focus on God and my other writings have been threatened; and these were not personal family or friends.

Lee felt badly when she heard about her friend; she had planned to call and get together with her last week, but had not been able to.  I felt guilt from what I thought I could have done for our neighbor’s son.

In all my thinking and praying I realized that we are not God, and we are not responsible for what others do to themselves or to us.  Even when we have done all we can, some cannot be reached so as to stop their torment and desperation.

It is important to remember that even when we cannot see His plan God is working in and through every circumstance in the lives of His children and in the whole world, all to His own glory.  We will have to wait until that time in glory with Him to understand how all this works; but then when we see Him face to face, all these matters will fade into the background of His glory.
Again, I point to the need of keeping our focus on God, our heavenly Father, who through Christ will restore balance and order in our lives as He takes us through the grieving process.

restore to me the joy

 Reconciliation and Renewal
This is also a time of reconciliation and restoration in your relationship with your heavenly Father; a time of renewal in the LIFE of Christ.  You may have been lax in your time with Him.  Let Him restore you through meditation in His word, in prayer, and in intercession for others who have lost a loved one.  Sometimes the best way to get through the grieving process is to realize that there are others who are grieving, even other family members and friends of your own child or spouse.

Getting through grief is not meant to be in a hurry, but gradually, with your goal of overcoming in mind, and eventually in sight, you walk hand in hand with the Lord as He brings you through. (See Grace for Grief and The Path of Grief)

Praising During the Grief
Praise is due to God at all times, but not natural during the grieving process.  It is a supernatural trait of God’s children to be able to praise Him in the middle of crisis.
It is, however, his will for us, as we continue to trust Him in all things.  It is in response, not to the tragedy, but to His love, presence and power with us during, and afterward.
Whatever man does or doesn’t do, God is still sovereign.  He is still God, and His word does not change because of the events in this life.  It is His truth that enables us to go on, when otherwise we would be where our loved ones were when they opted out.  Remember, it is the gift of God’s grace that has given us the faith to overcome.
We cannot lose our faith, but it always tested; and we can expect this gift of faith to be strengthened during such times as these.

Again, I use God’s words to Jeremiah for all times.  Expect and trust that through the darkest times in your life He waits to be gracious to you.

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”  Jeremiah 33:3


You are God’s Witness
in Your Loss
As one who has LIFE in Christ you have a hope that your loved one did not haveSatan cannot take this away from you.  Your heavenly Father wants to show through you who He is, and what He does in times like these.  Draw near to Him.  He is the God of all comfort, love, joy, and peace; so that you, in time, will be able to comfort others.

You may be God’s servant and witness, ready and able to help that one who may be seeking Christ in his or her desperation.  As your own faith is strengthened through your  tragedy you may be the one whom God has prepared to lead them to Christ and LIFE.


For Those Who Have Been Threatened
Since beginning this article I have been reminded that all attempts at suicide are not successful.  What does a parent or spouse do in response to their child or spouse who has tried to kill him/herself?  This depends on what you have experienced in your relationship with them before this happened?  Is there a pattern?
Has your child or spouse been rebellious, unhappy, miserable and critical in their relationship with others and their circumstances?   Are they selfish in their nature toward you and others?  Are they vindictive?  Have they threatened in other ways?
If this is their normal way of life the attempt could be a means of keeping you under their control, of threatening your own state of mind and health.

We don’t like to think that others have had a greater influence over our children than we have; but we must remember that the antithesis began in the Garden.  Satan, in rebellion stole the hearts of our first parents, God’s children.  He is still working today in the sinful nature of man, by a supernatural power, in the minds and hearts of those who have yet to be born of the supernatural Spirit of Christ.  Even we who are in Christ cannot escape a culture that supports all these influences.  We must be on guard for our children and ourselves in the spiritual warfare that we face daily.

The Influences
When we release our children into the world everyday for fifteen or more years their lives are going to be conformed to what they see and hear.  We have no idea what they are taking in from the process of public education, the media or personal relationships.  Our only defense for our children is spoken of in Deuteronomy 6:5-9 and Ephesians 6:1-4.  Even in obedience to these we may not realize the temptations that overtake our children.

Sometimes it seems that the very airwaves are filled with the enemy’s sights and sounds.  The music that is promoted and rings through our atmosphere permeates the sensitive minds and spirits of our children.  Even the music that has lyrics pertaining to God coincides with the music of the world.  We’re not always alert and aware of the words.  The music itself connects with our spirit; and we do not know the power of it.  If you try to take it away you will see how much influence it has.  Our children are brought up with it and will die with it if their hearts are not changed.  Most of the literature, the music, the games, the videos, and the movies out there promote death.  The occult is gradually becoming very popular.  Even the subtlety of it is bringing many children into it; and what does it promote but death?
If they have been on drugs they are susceptible to mood changes; and many are unable to think rationally.

If we know God’s word; if we know the truth; we know that Satan waits to devour our children and us.  He is the god of the world and works to destroy all that God has created for His own.  We also know that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil.  His death was not in vain.  The new heart that we receive through His suffering and sacrifice gives the new LIFE to us with the power of His Spirit for the things of God.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
 For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory.   (Colossians 3:1-4)

Love and Support
You must do all that you can to show your love and support; but eventually, you may need to seek help for your child.  You must give your loved one up to the Lord; seeking His wisdom and grace.  You must, in Christ, maintain your own strength; and by your own peace and joy let your child or spouse know that they cannot take away from you what Christ has given.  You can pray for them and with them to know the love of Christ; but if they continue in this desire to end it all you will not be able to stop them.  You will experience grief, but you will not need to carry a weight of guilt. 

You may wonder what you could have done differently with your child or spouse, but at a certain stage you have to let go, believing that you have done the best that you could.  If you have regrets, confess these to the Lord, ask forgiveness, and rest in His grace to continue on; looking always in the future for His wisdom and guidance in your life; and the ability to help them whenever you can.

Reactions to Major Disappointments
If they have never shown any of the above signs, but have had a major disappointment in their life, their attempt may just be a sign that they need extra help to get them through this time.  They will need your special attention; to be assured of your love and encouragement.  Spend time in prayer and devotions with them.  You will not always be with your children during the difficult times in their lives, but this will be an example of how they will personally deal with them and get through them in the future.  As we spoke in the first part of this article about being alone and depressed, you can be aware of these times, engaging your child or spouse in conversation or activity.  Be a sounding board, if that is what they need.  Be aware of their withdrawal and separation from you and the rest of the family.  Follow up with whatever means you have.

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Have they been grounded in the truth of God’s word? Are you?  This may be the time that you can be united in Christ through a joint search for His truths.  A daily time in God’s word, for study, meditation and prayer is needful for a foundation that cannot be shaken in crisis.  Memorization is important, too.  The truths of God’s word written on the mind, and hidden in the heart, are the power and authority that speak when we need faith, assurance and deliverance.

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
 
Psalm 119:11

My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!
Psalm 119:25

I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.
Psalm 119:93

Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.
Psalm 119:165

To Loved Ones Without Christ
I would say the same thing to you that I said to someone who is desperate and considering suicide.  There is comfort for you, too, in Christ.  According to His word, He does not operate apart from His Son, Jesus Christ.  He has given everything that we need that we may know Him, and receive all the blessings that He has prepared for those that love Him. 

I pray that as read this you may consider what I have written in this entire article, concerning LIFE, true LIFE in Christ.

The Bible teaches that all things were created by and through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second person of the Godhead.  Colossians 1 says that all things were made through Him; that all things consist in Him; and that in Him God chose that all His fullness should dwell.  In John 1 we read that of His fullness we all receive grace for grace.  In Ephesians 1 the church is His body, the fullness of Him, who fills all in all.

Ephesians 1:11 says that in God’s timing He will bring everything on this earth to an end; to a gathering of all His people in Christ, where all believers will live and reign with Him forever in His kingdom.  In all this we see that God has made Christ the beginning, the center, and the end of all things.  All true life, from the beginning to the end, is dependent on Christ.  God makes this clear to those who read and believe and submit to His truth of Christ.  The Holy Spirit supernaturally gives a new heart so that we can believe; and by His own goodness to turn us in faith and repentance to Him.  He leads us to seek His will for us through His word, The Holy Bible, to have communion and fellowship with Him and Christ through prayer, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper with fellow believers in a local church.

Through this tragedy in your life God may be drawing you to Himself.  As He has said throughout the ages to all believers, “This is my Son, Hear Him.”

“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
1
John 5:10-12

Again, I pray for all who read this, that God may speak to your heart, and give you His peace that passes understanding, that keeps our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

And I know that his commandment is life everlasting:
John 12:50

I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly
.

John 10:10

 Dear heavenly Father, we end this article in praise to You for creating us in Your image.  Having fallen short of the standard and the mark that you had set for us You came in the form of man to redeem us, and reconcile us to Yourself.  Looking back over so many years I can see the paths that you have brought me through by Your own grace.  Had it not been for Your presence, Your power, Your protection; Your provisions for LIFE in Christ I would not be here today.  But in Your plans; through Your love, You now hear my prayer for those who read my witness of You, Your Son, Jesus Christ, and Your Holy Spirit.  Hear our prayer, dear Lord, and save these who are in the snare of the devil.  Give them a new heart and a new spirit  ~ new LIFE in Christ ~ for living in this wilderness until You call them home.
Please hear the cries of these loved ones and walk through this valley with them; by Your light and Holy Spirit bring them out; so as to witness and minister to others in need.
To You be glory, and honor and power.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Grace for Grief
The Path of Grief
The Spirit and Heart of God’s Grace
SELF DESTRUCTION ~ Part 2
SELF DESTRUCTION ~ The Wrong Choice

The Path of Grief

The path of grief begins with a loss, usually the death of a loved one. Since my first post on grief, “Grace for Grief,” I hope that you have followed other posts.  They have been indirectly the beginnings of this path that I believe can be part of your experience to get through and triumph over your grief. (Example: articles on the Lord’s Day.  Part of healing is through our obedience to His commands.  This includes our worship and fellowship with His people.  Grace ~ A Realm, speaks of Christ living in you, to bring you through everything in this life.)

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows,
and acquainted with grief.”
Isaiah 53:3

This blog is for the proclamation of God’s grace.  Everything that we write is intended to be wisdom and comfort for those who read.  You will find Jesus Christ, the Lord of grace, in each article. He is the one to follow through this path of grief.  He has been there, and will lead you through. So, even though an article may not have the word “grief” in it, it will still minister to your heart, and be a means of His grace to get you through.

The path of grief is not something we chose to take, but is placed before us.  We must rise up and follow, else we will become stagnant.  Life will no longer have meaning.  There are many cases where the persons left behind grieve themselves to death. They refuse to take the path that will lead them through their suffering. There are others who have by their own hand taken their own life.  In these cases, the reality of life was never in Jesus Christ, but in whatever was lost.

A path is based on promises.  There are signs posted along this way of grace, and He has said that He will always be with you.

A path is going somewhere.  There is an end in mind, and at some point the end will be in view.  Herein is the hope that keeps us going.

A path can take different turns.  There may be resting places at times, before you go on.  These times will test your faith, and work patience, and faith in you.

A path is mapped out individually for each of us.  Your grief may not be like someone else’s. But know that your heavenly Father in His sovereignty has a special plan and way for you.

A path is sometimes lonely.  Even those who have experienced the same kind of loss may not know how to get through, nor help you get through it.

A path is not a race track; the time it will take to get through will be according to His timing.

A path has places of interest that you have never seen before.  These are pointed out as you take the Father’s hand and walk with Him.

This path of grief is a narrow path.  There is no room to turn around.  When you commit to follow Jesus Christ, He expects your own self-denial for the duration.

“Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me:
for thou art the God of my salvation;
on thee do I wait all the day.”
Psalm 25:4-5

I cannot promise that in following this blog you will be triumphant over your grief, but the promise is from the Father Himself, that in your following Christ, His Son, He will bring you through—to His glory and your joy.

In the grace and love of Christ.  ~  Fran

   
The first opening of our Camellia—the beginning of winter;
Into the depths of the cold season this shrub
which has become a tree
will be filled with these beautiful blooms.

Through DEATH to NEW LIFE

Who in this life desires to face death’s door?  Who has the faith to believe that new life is on the other side?  Those who are in pain and agony may be the only ones who are  truly ready to answer this question.  While in good health we tend to shun the idea; death is not something we like to think or talk about. But we must.

If God is true, then we can look at all of this life in light of His promises.  What does His Word teach us about death?  What does the Bible say about life after death?

What is truth?  What is fiction or heresy?  We must each settle these questions in our own hearts and minds, based on what we have read or heard from other people, our own experiences with the deaths of loved ones, and/or by faith in God’s Word. It is the understanding of these things that enable us to die, or to endure the grief in the loss of our loved ones.

What I believe will keep me steadfast in hope when I face that door. How I live now is preparing me for death to this life and the “immediate passing into glory.” (SC)  Faith, through the grace of Jesus Christ will enable me to accept Jerry’s death if he dies before I do.

God teaches us in many ways—specifically through His Word; but He works in His providence to reveal His intervention in our lives and the lives of our loved ones. My brother was at death’s door twice before it was opened.  Five months ago when he had complications from gall bladder surgery, in ICU for 6 weeks, he was not ready to go; his wife nor his doctor (who was a good friend of the family) were ready to let him go.  He was placed in two other facilities, heavily medicated for pain, paranoia, and depression, before being brought back to the hospital for the amputation of his toes.  This was the final trauma that enabled him to face, and desire this opening and passing through this door.  Death was the only truth, and hope, left. The mystery on the other side was drawing him to embrace his death and to submit to it.

God blessed, during these five months, for my sister-in-law, alone without her husband, to experience His care for her.

My dad died on Labor Day seventeen years ago.  Friday, following that Monday, Jerry’s nephew’s daughter was born—a message that life goes on, even when one is taken from us.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself

and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Luke 9:23

There is a death that must take place in this life—death to our own way of life and the desires of the flesh.  The eternal life that awaits the believer beyond the door of physical death begins now.  We experience it here on this earth, in the everyday trials, pain and agony.  New life begins the moment God’s Spirit births us into His kingdom, and it transports us beyond this wilderness into His glory for eternity.  For this truth, and in the reality of this promise, we rejoice now, and evermore in the Lord, Jesus Christ, who has opened this door of grace for those who follow Him.

“I AM THE DOOR…” John 10:9

GRACE For Grief

Where do I begin to write on the subject of grief?  I must begin within the parameters of God’s grace.  To approach anything, to come to a knowledge of things in this life, outside of His grace, leaves us with unanswered questions and  unfulfilled promises.Sunset

Grief is the result of—our response to—the loss of something, particularly  the loss of a family member or close friend.  Grief is the human side.  Grace is God’s side. Grief outside the realm of our Father’s grace will never be properly understood, dealt with, or overcome. Grief wrapped in God’s grace brings us into His own presence, His wisdom, and the comfort of His “everlasting arms.”  To understand grief as our Father sees it will enable us to embrace it, endure it, and triumph through it. It will bring us beyond the grief, in time; where grief is exchanged for His grace. As deeply agonizing is the grief, so deeply His grace works in our hearts to experience His glory and joy.

“Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4

In many articles on the subject of grief this verse from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is quoted. We first understand this comfort in the context of mourning over our sins.  It is the believer, the sons and daughters of the living God, who have experienced His grace.  Those who have already come to Christ in repentance and godly sorrow receive this blessing in all times of loss.  This comfort is already a part of our relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ. He is, at all times, and every day, preparing us to lose the things and the people, we love. This does not make the grieving any easier.  We still must go through the pain and agony, but with something the unbeliever does not have—FAITH, HOPE, and the LOVE  of a gracious heavenly Father.  In our loss, and during our grieving, He reveals Himself as He never has before.

Death for the one we lose is a final moment in time and history. There is no more pain, and no grieving in the heart and spirit of one who dies, physically.  There is no loss—only gain—unless the person dies without Christ; then our grieving will be useless for them.

As I have experienced the lose of a niece at the age of 23, my grandparents, 18 aunts and uncles (12 children in my mother’s family; 8 in my father’s), cousins, my father-in-law, my mother-in-law, my father, my mother, and now my brother, who was my only sibling, Jerry is now the only one of this family older than I am.  It behooves me to think more clearly, surely, and wisely about this thing called grief.  What is its purpose as it relates to the death of a loved one, family or friend?

The purpose of this series of articles on grief is two-fold: as a ministry to my sister-in-law, and others who have lost a loved one; and as preparation for myself and others who see the future possibility (unless we, as wives, die first).  Particularly we will be addressing the loss of a spouse.

We will write about the purpose in God’s plan for grief, the means of grace for our grief, how to relate to one who is grieving, and how the church is to minister to the widow.

We post this series with the desire and invitation that you join in this ministry with your own comments, and direct those who are grieving to this blog.  We pray that our heavenly Father will speak to us through His Word, through Christ and His Spirit, in the next few articles; that we will hear from those who are in grief now, and from you who have experienced the Lord’s grace during your time of grief.

Grace“Blessed be God, even the Father

of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.”

                                       2 Corinthians 1:3

THIS IS THE DAY

  “THIS IS THE DAY WHICH THE LORD HAS MADE:

WE WILL REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT.”

Psalm 118:24

My brother died last Lord’s Day, shortly before midnight. Our heavenly Father had done much in the last six months to bring him to this final moment. We, as the family, had been a part of His providence. We all experienced His mercy and grace. Thus He ended the 80 years, and 3 months that He had planned for my brother.

We look no further on this earth for him, but to heaven where he has gone “to be with the Lord,”—the place that He has prepared for His children.

Have I grieved?  Are my brother’s wife and children still grieving?  Yes.  We can only pray that our Father will bring us through this grief, in His timing—to the joy that is ours in Christ.

At the creation God, our Father, prepared a day that we should leave our grieving, and remember Him, who created us for His glory. The Sabbath is the day that we are to remember all that He has done for us in our creation, and redemption.  He set aside, blessed, and hallowed the day that would be a prelude to eternity.

In His timing, He sent His Son; and through His 33 years brought Him through the suffering, and sacrificial death that delivered us from this earthly bondage of sin and misery.

We remember His death for us in the Lord’s Supper.  We celebrate each Lord’s Day as our day of resurrection with Him.

“REJOICE ALWAYS.

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.

IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS:

FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS CONCERNING YOU.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Dear heavenly Father, this day—one day out of seven— you prepared for us to be with you. Enable us to look beyond the circumstances of the last week, TO YOU.  By your Holy Spirit, work in us, to remember WHO YOU ARE, SO THAT WE REMEMBER WHOSE WE ARE.  You have promised always to be with us, never to leave us, nor forsake us.  You have given your Son, Jesus Christ, that we may have eternal life with you.  Let us rejoice in Him with exceeding joy.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.