Wherefore comfort one another with these words. ~1 Thessalonians 4:18
One of the most meaningful ways we express our love and concern for other people is through the gift of flowers. White lilies are given at funerals and memorial services to show our empathy and sorrow for a grieving person’s loss. Sometimes purple hyacinth is given for the same reason. One flower, however, symbolically speaks of our remembrance and consolation with a grieving or hurting person. That flower is the golden poppy. Paul gave us good instruction on how we can provide comfort and consolation to other believers who need God’s comfort. I refer this expression of comfort as “poppy love.”
We see the concern.
"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." The believers at Thessalonica were grieving the passing of their saved loved ones. They wanted to know when and how they would see them again. Grieving is part of the travail that we must go through in this life. We have precious, loving relationships with family and special friends. Their passing pierces our heart with much sadness and grief. So, Paul gives us a word of hope for our concern.
We see the coming.
"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." Paul reminds us that Jesus is coming for us. His coming, or the Rapture, is called the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13). His coming for us is like a bridegroom coming to take his bride to the home that he has prepared for her. Jesus' coming will serve two purposes. The first is to raise the bodies of the dead in Christ as glorified bodies to take to Heaven. The second is to remove all living, born again Christians out of this world of woe. We are to keep our eyes looking for the coming of our Lord.
We see the congregation.
"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." There will be a blessed reunion of those of us being raptured and the dead in Christ on that day. Hurting hearts will be comforted at this reunion. There will be much rejoicing at our reunion. We will enter Heaven together with our Lord. We will be forever with our Lord!
We see the counsel.
"Wherefore comfort one another with these words." First, Paul’s word to us is a word of comfort. The Greek word for comfort means to come alongside of another person. It is extending our arm around the other person in helping them to know that we are here to support and strengthen them in their sorrow. Second, as God’s people, we are exhorted to comfort one another with these words. God’s Word is a timely Word for us. God’s Word is a tender Word for us. Be comforted that Jesus is coming for us. Be comforted to know that there will be a resurrection of the dead in Christ. Be comforted that there is a reunion with loved ones in the Lord. Remember the poppy, and be a Christian who practices “poppy love.”
Have a comforted God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Proverbs 10-12