Every good and perfect gift is from above...James 1:17

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Rejoice In The Lord Always

As I sit at my keyboard, I am at a loss for words. A year has passed since my brother went to heaven. Something about a year makes my mind go back to that instant when everything changed. As much as I don't want to revisit that awful moment when reality hurt so much that the pain was physical, my mind keeps going back and my heart aches.

I miss my brother.
This past year I have noticed so many people suffering through loss and serious illnesses. Sometimes our family feels alone in our loss, but I know my family is just one of the many hurting. I don't know why God allows bad things to happen. But what I do know is that he is with us when they happen, and he wants to help us get through them.

He is here; it's up to me if I let him help me:
•For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. ~2 Cor. 1:5
•Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. ~Matt. 11:28
•The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. ~Deut.31:8
•The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save. ~Zeph. 3:17
•The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34:18

God not only promises to help me in my sufferings, but he will give me the strength I need when I don't feel I have it:
•I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~Isaiah 41:10
•Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. ~Eph. 6:10
•Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you. ~Psalm 55:22
•God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. ~Psalm 46:1

The Lord never promises that we will not suffer in this world, but he is with us to get us through it:
•For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. ~Rom. 8:18
•And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. ~1 Pet. 5:10

When I stand firm in Christ, my focus of earthly loss will turn toward eternal life:
•You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. ~Psalm 30:11
•Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. ~James 5:13
•Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. ~John 16:20

This world is temporary and our eternal home is in heaven, along with Steve and all the others who have went before us, and most importantly our Lord and Savior:
•But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. ~1 Thess. 4:13
•And this is the promise that he made to us--eternal life. ~1 John 2:25
•I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. ~John 10:28

Our God is loving and good:
• Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. ~Phil. 4:4
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