Comfort From God's Word
Sunday Afternoon May 27th, 2007*
Hebrews 11: 1-16*
In times like these, those that do not know our God are often tempted to become angry and rail against Him. They blame Him for their loss and thereby refuse His comfort. When people ask me, “Why does the Lord allow suffering, pain, and death?” I reply, “Death and suffering are not God’s creation but our own.” God intended for us a life characterized by ease and peace, a life whose every day would find Him spending time with us in the beautiful Garden of Eden. Reading Hebrews 11, one soon discovers that even the most beloved of God have suffered and died.
How much better it is to dwell on His goodness and the multitude of His blessings rather than on the negatives we cannot change. Like Adam and Eve, each of us chooses to attempt life without God. We think we know best and seek after happiness and personal fulfillment as we think best. How fortunate we are that God loves us so much. He gave His only begotten Son to die that we might get out from under the penalty of our bad choices and spend eternity with Him. All that is required of us is faith and belief.
Aunt Jane believed in and trusted Jesus to be her Savior. Like the saints mentioned in Hebrews 11, it was not her ability that guaranteed her a place with God in heaven, but her faith in the blood of Jesus. I know that were she here today, her greatest desire would be that each of us would hear the message of salvation and come to faith in Jesus. Let us say as David said at the death of his child, “She cannot come to us, but we can go to her.”
They are not dead, who leave us this great heritage of remembered joy…
They still live in our hearts, in the happiness we knew, in the dreams we shared -----
They still breathe in the lingering fragrance windblown from their favorite flowers -----
They still smile in moonlight’s silver and laugh in sunlight’s sparkling gold -----
They still speak in the echoes of words we’ve heard them say again and again -----
They still move in the rhythm of waving grasses, in the dance of tossing branches.
They are not dead; their memory is warm in our hearts, comfort in our sorrow.
They are not apart from us, but a part of us…
For love is eternal; and those we love shall be with us throughout all eternity.
-----Mary E. Richardson