“Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.”
Psalm 119:49-50 (NIV)
Counsellors who are not Christian find it harder to comfort bereaved parents who mourn the death of a child than do Christian counsellors. They can certainly tell the parents that it would be good to get on with life. They may suggest a holiday, a time away from the business of life, they may even refer them to other parents who have buried a child. Those suggestions have merit.
But such tragic events cause people to lose hope. Children are one of the richest blessings of marriage. The greatest evidence of the love between two people is a child. Children are the fruit of the marital union and are therefore precious in the parents’ eyes.
What a Christian counsellor can do for grieving people is offer the hope contained in the Gospel. Jesus conquered death through His resurrection. That historical fact was not accepted by Jesus’ followers at first. It took a lot of persuading for them to be sure the resurrection was a fact. However, these honest doubters became convinced proclaimers of this grand truth.
Jesus died and rose again for His people. All are invited to participate in the glory of this truth by the Saviour Himself. All through the Old Testament and the New Testament we read of God inviting people to come to Him. Whether you come initially because of tragedy in your life, because of struggles with the every day issues of life—whatever the reason—come and examine His claims upon us all.
Jesus once said, Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
When we come to Jesus we need to look upon His record and see that He did things like heal the sick, feed 5,000 with the bag lunch of a poor boy, and spend time with the greatest of sinners. He had authority over every problem we can face today.
Jesus summed up His mission with the words in Luke 5:32 (NIV)
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Jesus is first and foremost the only One Who can deal with sin and its horrible consequences. Regardless of people’s social situation—Jesus had this same call for everyone to come to Him as sinners, receive forgiveness upon repentance, and to share in the great hope of finally conquering every enemy in this life and enjoy eternal life freely.
Do you rest in the promises of God like the Psalmist? Do you bring these promises to Him in prayer and ask for their fulfilment? Our verses today show an individual in pain whose hope is in the Lord and not himself. Imitate this man’s example and find comfort in the knowledge that your situation is preserved by His promises to you—His child.