Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Mathew 5:4

 

Dear readers,

 

at Easter we Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We celebrate life. We celebrate the victory of Jesus over death. But in the midst of this joy over the victory of Jesus, Christians in Sri Lanka, the whole world, had to experience with horror and pain how terrible and powerful death can be.

 

Death is omnipresent in our world. He leaves behind sadness and pain. He often tears deep wounds that are unlikely to heal.

 

When Job loses his family, he finds no consolation. He suffers horribly, is desperate. His friends who want to help him cannot comfort him. Human words, no matter how well meant, often can not bring light into the darkness of a suffering heart.

 

When King David suffered greatly, he found comfort in prayer (Psalm 56: 9): „You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” (Psalm 56, 8)

 

Jesus Christ tells his disciples that God wants to comfort and that he will comfort as well. Only God can really comfort you. He alone can wipe our tears. The risen Christ tells us: “God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks about this comfort. Only where God meets us with his consolation, where he will wipe our tears, will we be comforted.

 

Before Jesus returns to heaven, he promises his disciples the "Comforter". He speaks of the Holy Spirit, of the Spirit of Truth (John 16: 6 + 7). Jesus sees the farewell pain of his disciples. He can understand their grief: „But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16, 6 + 7)

 

The Spirit of God wants to comfort the heart of the disciples. He also wants to comfort our hearts. He wants to comfort in the desert times of life. He consoles in solitude. He consoles in times of illness and hardship.

 

We as Christians are called upon to help those who suffer. Even if it is only a small help. We are allowed to accompany people on their ordeal. We can encourage them. We are allowed to be silent, compassionate, to show sympathy for them. We can also allow anger and have to endure their disappointments. We may pray that the Spirit of God, the true Comforter, brings light into their hearts.

We can pray with the words of Psalm 23. These words of God brought back hope to so many people:

 

„Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me” (Psalm 23, 4). When God comforts, I find peace and security again. If the Good Shepherd Jesus Christ is my companion, I will not lack consolation. Those who travel with him, can call themselves happy.

 

I wish you a blessed week and a heart comforted by the Holy Spirit!

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© 2020 Hans-Peter Nann, Frankfurt am Main