As a nation, we just celebrated our independence again on July 4. We are fortunate to live in a country where we have so many freedoms; but as great as our Constitution and Bill of Rights are, there are some freedoms only God can give.
The good news of the Gospel is that we can be forgiven of our sins, freed from the bondage of sin, and freed from both the penalty and the guilt of sin. That is surely more than good news. It’s great news!
However, in this life we won’t be free from sickness, accidents, heartaches, disappointments, or the death of loved ones. Believers are not immune to such pain. In the next life we will be free of such things. In the meantime, we have been given the Spirit of God to dwell with us and in us. We are not left alone in our times of pain.
Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit. He said to His disciples, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, because, He abides with you, and He will be in you. I will not leave you orphaned…” (John 14:16-18 NRSV)
It is good to know we are not alone. It has been a blessing to me to have family and friends with me in my journey of grief in the loss of our daughter, but knowing God is with me is even more comforting and helpful.
The Psalmist captures this relationship we can have with God in troubled times when he wrote, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4 NRSV)
In your journey of grief, may you realize the blessing of God’s presence as expressed in the words of this song:
Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand. *
*Words: Karolina W. Sandell-Berg, 1865 (Blott en dag, ett ögonblick i sänder); translated from Swedish to English by Andrew L. Skoog (1856-1934).