Words of Comfort

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When we think of words of comfort, we often remember our mothers. Or, we picture a mother speaking gently to her child.

Over the years, serving in ministry in a local church, I’ve also discovered the comforting power of hymns. Hymns of heaven bring hope when life gets weary. Then in times of grief, hymns of assurance bring peace. Songs that resound with God’s love for us lift our spirits through the day. But, even more so, the words of God, even more than those of a mother, whisper His care, His grace, His mercy and His love for us.

I’ve been honored to bring words of comfort to grieving families over the years. Two particularly stand out at the moment. Both were graveside services.

In one, several years ago, I gathered with the family of a wife and mother. Then, just about a year ago, I stood by the grave of her husband with the remaining family members.

God’s Words of Comfort

I confess to having one passage of Scripture that seems most appropriate for the end of the graveside service. At that time, we look out at the graves that surround us in the cemetery and read these words:

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 KJV

Cemeteries often bear the name “final resting place.” But for the Christian, the name “a temporary holding place” rings truer. And, this place applies only to the body. Certainly, the soul resides already in the presence of our loving Savior.

When I stand before a grieving family, look around at the multitude of gravesites, and read the words of this text, I know there is hope. And, I know these are words of comfort.

Hymn with Words of Comfort

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight:
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest:
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

Refrain:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

“Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine” by Fanny Crosby

Blessings,
Richard

Resources

Read another article with a very similar theme, Christmas at the Cemetery.

You can choose other Bible versions to read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 at BibleGateway.com.

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