Monday, June 11, 2012

THE HEART OF THE MATTER (for the grieving)

Remember God loves you. He does not bring sickness, nor does He kill children. Religion, many times, has missed the mark regarding God's true nature. We live in a fallen world that is temporarily under the rule of a fallen angel and those with him. We as Christians are in a war while we are here on earth, battling the invisible forces of evil in the heavenly realms. The weapons of our warfare are opposite of what the world teaches. We love, bless, pray, and trust in an awesome God who has made a way for us back to him by sacrificing His own Son in our place.

 "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 have received from God."  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Purpose -  to find peace and perspective in the midst of painful and sometimes confusing times.
My calling and my heart for God's people is to help them come out of religious traditions & into real relationship with an awesome Lord who loves them - no better way to get perspective than to hear God's own words regarding death, life, hope, suffering, faith,and peace. Here is a tapestry of scripture, in common language, that I feel captures the essence of God's heart, truth, plans and provision regarding these things. 
Some of Jesus' words from the night of His betrayal:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am ~ John 14:1-3
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 NKJV
"Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am...!" John 17:24
Paul's Words:
"Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? ......... No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow -- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below -- indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 8:35 - 39
"No eye has seen no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9b
"And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead." 1 Corinthians 6:14
"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:3
"For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands" 2 Corinthians 5:1
"For we will put on heavenly bodies, we will not be spirits without bodies." 2 Corinthians 5:3
"We would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord" 2 Corinthians 5:8b
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6 - 7
Here is what the Word of Says Regarding Believers Who Have Died:
and now 
 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death,so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Peter's Conclusion to the sufferings of the living:
"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold -- though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." 1 Peter 1:6 - 7
"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1
And Finally:
 When we are suffering,
During the worst days following a death, (if we allow Him) God surrounds us with others who have gone through what we are going through. We should take full advantage of this, as our Christian brothers and sisters are compelled in their hearts and conscience to be of comfort to those who are suffering, just as they have found comfort in their past experiences through God's word, and the compassion of His other children toward them.
So here is my charge to you, in the name of the Lord:

today - honor your loved one by acknowledging his passing, or better said, his home going. Then celebrate his life, and don't call him dead, because he surely is not. Tell fun stories, eat his favorite foods, find comfort in each other and in God's promises...then, at the end of the day, when it gets quiet and you sense the Lord's presence...take time to make a commitment to the Lord, and to your loved one to meet them in heaven. And you can have confidence that the Lord, who is faithful, willing, and able to make this happen, will stand good on His promises, if you will humble yourself, acknowledge your need for a savior, and put your trust in Him and His finished work on the cross on your behalf.

God Bless Jesus' name.

Thanks & Be Blessed, 

Will Brocker
Grace & Truth Ministries