Comfort in the Scriptures

This reading is in support of the St Thomas mission to support the Year of Faith and the Emeritus Pontiff’s call for mission.

Recently death has visited our lives personally. The first time, with a cherished uncle who was a sufferer of Parkinson's, the second a close family friend, who was a cancer victim. Both men suffered many years with their illnesses.
Faced with these situations, we often tend to blame our God. To place the pain and suffering at his feet. We turn to our base instincts and want to question “why” and we say things such as “How can a merciful God allow such suffering; for the afflicted and for the families?”
We look for words of comfort during these times. We typically say things like “He is now free from pain” or “he is in a better place”.
One of the affected family members turned to me and asked, what the Bible says about death and why would this type of suffering be necessary on earth. I found myself feeling I was not prepared to properly respond.
I turned to the Bible for the answers:
Grieving is natural and a part of the healing:
We find grief and grieving throughout the scriptures; from Jacob grieving for his son in Genesis, David fasting and refusing to rise due to overwhelming grief; The Jews grieved for Moses for 30 days prior to their entering the promised land. To grieve is natural and we should not deprive ourselves of this natural process.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 (King James Version)
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Turn to our Lord in times of need:
Psalms 77:2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

The Life After:

Finally, we come to the fact that is the foundation of our beliefs:

“I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” (from the profession of faith)

Psalms 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

We do confess our beliefs in the resurrection and the promise of resurrection that awaits those who believe in Christ. We confess one baptism, and we strive to live good solid Christian lives, to show our faith through deeds.

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

What I found was hope and comfort. Knowing that our lives on this earth are full of difficulties as Satan challenges us. He does not always temp us with money and parties; he will challenge us with difficulties as he did Job.

We can find comfort in the scriptures; we can pray for strength to our lord, and feel certain that our lives in the afterlife will be joyous and without end.

God Bless: