Over the last week things in my life has caused me to reflect back on my journey through grief. It was in November 2008, the Lord called my wife home. During this time, God’s Word spoke to me in ways it never had in the past. Also, His comfort was beyond what words could do justice. I could write about this, however, in this blog post I would like to discuss something I had a hard time understanding. In fact, I still do not fully comprehend it. That is, we are to rejoice always and in everything give thanks. This means even in my wife’s passing. I could understand being thankful in the good things the Lord provides. But rejoice and be thankful in death?
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I believe this is an important passage to consider regardless of what we are going through in life, both good and bad.
In my prayers I would say, “Lord, your word says to rejoice always and in everything give thanks. How do I rejoice and give thanks in this?” I remember saying many times, “I just do not get it, please help me understand.” I have come to believe He wants us to be thankful for what He is doing through the situation and still give Him praise. He wants us to be thankful for what He has already done for us. And, He wants us to be thankful for what He has for us in the future. He is still a good God who loves us more than we could even imagine. He loved us enough that He sent His only Son to die for us. He paid a debt we could not pay to redeem us out of our lost and sinful state. A state we are in because we choose to rebel against Him. Jesus was in heaven, humbled Himself and became a man who was obedient to the Father, even to death on the cross. (See Philippians 2:5-8). Think of this, He did not even have to create us, but He did. Because of Jesus, we have a future and a hope beyond our greatest imagination. We get to spend an eternity with Him in His perfect kingdom. Because of Jesus, we can be thankful even in death.
- Everything Jesus has done, (see above).
- My wife is in heaven with Jesus and one day I will be there also.
- I am thankful for the wonderful times we had together and the amazing relationship we shared.
- Jesus was glorified during the memorial service and many unsaved people heard a very solid message of salvation.
- The Lord used this to bring her brother to faith in Christ.
- The Word of God spoke to me more personally than it ever had before.
- The Lord never abandoned me.
- When I was hurting, He was faithful comforting me.
- He provided all my needs.
- He still loved me.
- My relationship with Him grew.
- My faith increased.
- As the Lord comforted me, now I can comfort others.