No greater comfort than that offered by the promises the God of the universe gives to us
Published 8:20 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: My vocation is in the area of comfort care, and as a Christian, this gives me a wonderful opportunity to be a witness for Christ. Some patients are so despondent in their last days, and others are joyful. It’s hard to put the emotions into words that bring comfort, but isn’t it all about having faith in God? – E.L.
Dear E.L.: Great verses of hope leap out of the Bible to bring peace and even joy. There is ultimate and justifiable hope for the Christian. A griever knows when he or she is reaching the reconstruction stage of the grief process when, little by little, hope becomes more of a reality. Memories become sweeter and less painful. Laughter is genuine, instead of forced.
It is hard to fathom how anyone overcomes the deep, agonizing emotions of the loss of someone very near and dear without the sustaining hand of God. We can help ourselves through periods of grief or panic or fear by believing in the promises of God. He has told us He will be with us always and will never leave us or forsake us (see Hebrews 13:5). This is why we are told to give Jesus all of our cares and concerns.
The prophet Micah wrote, “When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me” (Micah 7:8). The basis of this hope is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 and many other Bible passages. Jesus died and rose again to bring us to Himself through salvation, the forgiveness of sin.
There is no greater comfort than that offered by the promises the God of the universe gives to us. Anyone who goes through any intense grief experience becomes either stronger or weaker, and ultimately each person chooses which it will be. Faith points us beyond our problems to the hope we have in Christ.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)