Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Comfort of His Coming

Visitors to the Fiji Islands tell about a strange custom among the people: "calling to the dead." A mourner climbs to a high tree or cliff and after saying the name of the deceased cries out pathetically, "Come back! Come back!" The heartrending wail is filled with despair, with only a mocking echo to intensify its sadness.

Christians also grieve when a loved one or friend is taken from them by death, but not "as others who have no hope" (1 Thess. 4:13). The tears flow, and loneliness is real. But deep in our hearts we know that at the coming of Christ all believers who have died will be raised in perfect bodies. We anticipate that day when we will he caught up in the air and reunited with those who have died in the Lord (vv.16-17). Our longing cry is, "Come back, Lord Jesus! Come back!"

On that glorious day of resurrection victory, "God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus" (v.14). What a blessed reunion that will be! This joyous event could happen at any moment. The prospect of His coming is not wishful thinking, nor is it an escape from the hard realities of life and death. It is an absolute certainty, and it brings real comfort to every believer. HOB

Be still and trust - your flowing tears
Will all be wiped away
By God Himself, O grieving heart;
Your Lord may come today


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