Today, I expand upon a comment (see below) that I posted on Facebook in response to photographs posted by a younger cousin of herself and her brother from some years ago.  I shared a Scripture proclaiming the triumph of Jesus Christ.  The enemy not only wanted to take my mother’s life away from me; even the only photograph I had of her—kept in a special scrapbook within the privacy of my bedroom—was coveted.  Thus, it is by things revealed in Christ that I have continued with balance and wholeness from GOD; and more than once, I have been privileged to see and speak with my mother in dreams.  I continue to believe Christ had prepared me and strengthened me for the common ordeal of losing a family member (e.g., children, parents, spouse, etc.), one that threatens most believers throughout their lives until the time it finally occurs.  Even so, as I thought on this, I realized, we are rarely given instruction by our parents, our friends, or our neighbors on what to do or say that correctly comforts and nourishes others in their bereavement.  Some years ago, at the last funeral I attended, I was forced to speak angrily after an example in the Bible:  Then Job answered and said,  I have heard many such things:  miserable comforters are ye all.  Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest?  I also could speak as ye do:  if your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you.  But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.  (Job 16:  1-5, KJV)  I have since learned that, because the power of death is repeatedly experienced as an emotional or mental breakdown (we say, people are not themselves) that is accompanied by doubt, fear and spiritual upheaval, the intervention of GOD through Jesus Christ absolutely must appear in order for created beings and living creatures to have place within the eternal order that is to exist throughout the universe:

 

Thanks for sharing these.  For many years I’ve had a large scrapbook that I filled with my favorite verses of Scripture.  After my mothers death, I kept 3 special photographs there, including one taken of her during the 80s.  When someone (an abomination who apparently did not know me, have compassion toward me, or respect me) removed the photos, I was reminded once again:  Luke 12:  4-6, King James Version (KJV) 4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.  5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear:  Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.  Be encouraged!

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.  And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer:  or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.  And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.  (2nd Corinthians 1:  3-7, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A “Good” Verse? (05/09/2014); What GOD Demands (05/10/2014); Our Present Comfort? (06/28/2013); Come As You Are? (06/29/2013); Faith for Facing Tragedy? (06/04/2013); Words Spoken By GOD? (06/05/2013); Scripture at Funerals? (04/30/2013)

 

Here are a few points believers should consider regarding our duty as comforters:

(1.)  The time for service as one who heals, one who reinforces, and a valuable ally who helps others around them to overcome bereavement, loss, and separation does not begin with the onset of a crisis.  Long before the  death of any loved one, divine love is imparted by the believer as a subtle (barely visible; hidden because quiet) presence, that, like a seed buried within the earth, appears and blossoms as godly benefit at a later time—when comfort may be least expected (and perhaps not even welcome) yet, most needed.  Comfort is not to be an artifact of mourning; comfort is to be an aspect of eternal life established now and today through ones regular routines of life.

(2.)  Those who insisted upon cheap talk, condemnation, and gossip behind your loved ones back, are no different than those who denied them because of their poverty, did nothing to encourage their positive efforts to meet challenges and overcome their problems, and refused to share or lift them up when given opportunities by GOD.  Comfort is not to be from the recall of kindness to oneself so much as it is to be the memory of kindness to ones deceased.  The blessing from GOD is twofold, a double portion, where we look back upon good works, and where the believer continues having relationship with those who did serve, share and uplift their deceased during the times of their struggles and victories.

(3.)  While gentleness, floral bouquets, releasing memorial balloons, prayers, and kind words are nice and thoughtful, the most meaningful comforts are those that come by our being filled with the Spirit of Jesus to establish continuous and eternal life.  Because GOD is active and present in (we say, inhabits) praise and the aspect of prophecy that is edification (we say, building up and comfort), divinity is conveyed and imparted to those who endure loss by proclaiming the promises of GOD in Christ, even resurrection from the dead, and completion of their transformation to be immortal and incorruptible at his appearing.  Thus, believers should be alert to obey 1st Thessalonians 4:  13-18, KJV:  13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  What believers are to do as vessels of divinity (we say, incarnations of Spirit) is demonstrate and manifest divine love.  Thereby the believer acknowledges Jesus as son of the Highest, and “comforts” GOD, who has suffered separation from Christ through death, sin, and slander.  Christ within the living is the comfort to GOD that refreshes the Almighty Father as the power from his resurrection, as the new life from his ministry of atonement, and as the affirmation that a believer is one redeemed and saved in the judgment of GOD.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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