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Steve Ham, AiG–U.S., discusses the topic of mourning and how we can find true comfort in the midst of this suffering.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
Today’s big question: where can true comfort be found?
For years I have seen my own mother mourn the death of her husband and her child (my brother). The sorrow associated with that mourning still has a lingering effect in her life. The loss of a spouse or a child must be one of the most sorrowful things a person can face in this life. Sometimes the passage of time can dull the pain. Friends and productive work might do the same, but without an eternal solution to death there can be no real comfort. My mother finds the most comfort in her mourning through her knowledge of their faith in Jesus Christ and His gift of eternal life.
As finite individuals we all face death—and according to Hebrews 9:27, after death we all face judgment. Whether we are healthy and live to be 100 or whether we currently face death through a terminal illness, there is an end to this life for all humans. In light of the fact that we all deserve the eternal judgment of God, where can comfort be found?
Yesterday we discussed how an acceptance of our sinfulness in brokenness brings us to the Cross of Christ to plead for His forgiveness through authentic repentance. By itself, mourning over our sin does not bring comfort. That comfort is found in Jesus Christ, the person to whom we plead. We come to Christ seeking His forgiveness and power over sin in our life. We come to Him with a desire to deny self and glorify Him in our life. We come to Christ with full confidence that He has completely defeated death and sin on our behalf.
This is why the mourning for sin cannot just be some type of human penance. We can do nothing to save ourselves. Only through the completed work of Christ can our mourning over sin lead to the reception of a full and eternal pardon. The Lord not only pardons us, but He also adopts us into His family.
Are you comforted? The only way you can truly be comforted is to trust in the completed work of Christ on the Cross. He rose again and is exalted in victory right now. He has full power and authority to forgive forever. This is why the author of Hebrews wrote “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 7:19).
Today’s big idea: Christ is our only source of eternal comfort.
What to pray: thank the Lord for the full comfort He offers to all who come to Him in true repentance and faith.