Death and losing a loved one have become very real in the last couple of months. We all know the staggering statistics of the Covid-19 pandemic, and many of us have had to face the reality of family members being part of those stats. When the numbers become familiar names, it is extremely hard.
I’m so sorry… These words have been spoken hundreds of times when people have lost a family member or friend they loved dearly, yet it seems so futile when someone’s heart is shattered. I’ve had to say it again this past week to a friend, and although my mouth said it, my heart was crying: “May you find comfort, peace, understanding, acceptance, new hope, and may the pain become progressively less each day!”
I don’t know which battle you are fighting today, it might be having very little physical strength because of illness, it might be the pain of loss, maybe you are rejected, or uncertain of what the future holds. I am deeply sorry, and more than that, I would like you to get to know a facet of God that we only meet once we experience deep pain.
In the Old Testament, we are introduced to God as a Warrior and a King, but also as the God of Comfort. In the Psalms, in Job, Isaiah and Zechariah we clearly see that God desired to comfort His people. In Isaiah 40:1-5 we read the prophetic Word of God’s desire and plan to comfort His children. Just a few chapters further the prophetic word turns towards Jesus, and how He will fulfil this desire of God. Then, roughly 700 years later, in the synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus speaks these same words, as He became the fulfilment of `God’s desire to comfort’ His people. (Luke 4:16-21)
David praises God in Psalm 27 as he recounts his experiences of God’s comfort in difficulties.
“For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock.”(Psalm 27:5) AMPC
God is still the same, He sees where you are today and He desires to comfort you. Here are 10 verses I’d like to share with you instead of just saying:” I’m sorry”. God’s Word is powerful, and I trust that as you read it, you will experience His presence and His comfort for your specific situation.
1. “The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.” Job 5:11 (NIV)
2. “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV)
3. “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)
4. “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
5. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
6. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-38 (NIV)
7. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)
8. “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 any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3 (NIV)
9. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
10. “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)
God desires to comfort you, not only for your own comfort but so that you in turn can bless others with this same merciful comfort. God also comforts us in the midst of severe heartache, pain and uncertainty, so that everything within us can rely on Him and Him alone. There is a place where no one but God can help you, the valley of the shadow of death, and that is where the Father is waiting for you to put your trust in Him. He is ready to comfort you, give you peace, carry you with His strength and rejuvenate you by His Spirit working within you.
2 Cor 4:13-18 (TPT)
“13 We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says,
“First I believed, then I spoke in faith.”
So we also first believe then speak in faith. 14 We do this because we are convinced that he who raised Jesus will raise us up with him, and together we will all be brought into his presence. 15 Yes, all things work for your enrichment so that more of God’s marvellous grace will spread to more and more people, resulting in an even greater increase of praise to God, bringing him even more glory!
16 So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. 17 We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison, 18 because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.”
May you experience God’s comfort today, joining your voice to Habakkuk, as he, in very harsh circumstances, decided to look to God as His refuge.
“17 Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19 ESV
You might feel alone, but you are not! Jesus, before He ascended to heaven, said the following:
“16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
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.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:16,18,26,27 (KJV)
In the midst of your battle, may you find refuge in the God of all comfort and may you experience His grace and mercy like never before.