Daily Devotional for Saturday November 29, 2003

Helping comfort those who have lost a close friend or loved one

(Luke 7:13)

Helping comfort those who have lost a close friend or loved one. One of the questions I get daily here at Liveprayer is how to help someone who has lost a friend or loved one. When dealing with any issue, I try to first go to the Gospels and see how Jesus handled a similar situation in His life. There are several occasions when our Lord was confronted with death.

The Bible says that "he had compassion." That gives us a roadmap. The first thing we can do for someone is simply show compassion. It is not so much what we say, but that we let them know we care. Just being there is often the best thing you can do. Of course, praying for them is critical, as is sharing with them that the only source of real comfort comes from God.

In these situations, we are often faced with the most difficult question of all, why did God allow this to happen? We obviously have no answer. There are never any good answers. The only thing that we can do is try and help them understand that God is in control, and although we may never know why something happened, it is a time to exercise our faith and trust God. Often, these can be great witnessing opportunities for those who are not saved. This is a time when many people are most open to the spiritual side of their life and are looking for meaning and purpose.

I have a personal belief after many years of ministry that one reason some people die when they do is because the Lord uses it to break through to a hardened heart and allow many to know His love. Just sharing with them that there is a Divine plan and purpose for each of us, and God loves us, can often be the comforting words someone needs to hear to help them. Ultimately, it is only God who can ease the pain and heartache a person goes through during this tragic time.

Unfortunately, there is no exact formula since everyone handles grief in a different way. Having compassion, praying, sharing the love of God are the three things that can at least be a comfort to someone in that position. I wish there were better words, more definite instruction that I could share with you to help you as you face these times in your life. Know this, God is the only source of true comfort there is. Prayer does work. Showing people the love of Christ in these difficult times can be one of the strongest witnesses you will ever give.

I will be praying for you today, that as you have the opportunity in your life to help someone through this difficult time, God will use you in a great and mighty way. It is at these times when we can really fulfill our purpose of serving Him, to allow Him to use us as an instrument of comfort to someone who is hurting. Don't run from these opportunities, but be ready for them and embrace them.

I love you, I care about you, and I am looking forward to one day meeting each and every one of you in this life or in Heaven. Death is part of life, but for those who know Christ as their Savior, everlasting life with our Creator is our eternal destination. It will be a great day when we have a Liveprayer reunion in Glory and I get to meet each and every one of you who have made my life so special by allowing me to share our Lord with you each day!!! May you be richly blessed this day as we work together for His Kingdom!

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller