No Words To Comfort
By: Brian A. Yeager

All too often we (faithful Christians) are expected to have words of comfort for others during difficult times. When I speak of others I am speaking of people who have not obeyed the Gospel. These are people of the world (John 17:25). The world lies in wickedness (I John 5:19). People of the world are people of wickedness even if they think they are doing “good works” (Matthew 7:21-23).

People who are outside of our Lord do not know the way of peace (Isaiah 59:8). Thus, when they look at the peace that we (faithful Christians) have, they do not understand it (Philippians 4:7). They do not realize that when all the things of this world go wrong, that which we love and live for is still secure (Colossians 3:1-4). God is our peace (Romans 15:33 and I Corinthians 14:33). However, the world does not offer peace to anyone (John 14:27 and John 16:33). Therefore, people will look at us and want what we have when their lives are falling apart. So, what do you say to them?

What Do You Say?

A woman has a failed marriage. Her husband just left her because he doesn’t love her anymore. She has the children and a bunch of bills. He’s almost certain not to help with financial support. She cannot find comfort. Her friends have told her that there are “more fish in the sea”. This woman is of the world. Yet, though she is of the world, she knows that she should not find another husband. She is right on that one (Matthew 19:3-12, Romans 7:1-3, and I Corinthians 7:10-11). Being lost and not knowing to whom to turn, she finds one of us. She asks you or I to provide words of comfort. What do you say?

Can you tell this woman, who is spiritually lost, that she’ll be okay one day? The truth is, she won’t be okay one day (Revelation 21:8). Do you tell this woman to spend time in prayer to focus on spiritual things? The truth is, God doesn’t hear her prayers (Psalms 66:18, Proverbs 15:29, Isaiah 59:1-3, John 9:31, and I Peter 3:12). In fact, her prayers disgust God because she is not living in obedience to Him (Proverbs 28:9). Do you tell this woman that all things will work out for good? The truth is, that is only true for faithful Christians (Romans 8:28; cf. John 14:15).

Whether it is the fictional woman above or any other scenario, you cannot honestly comfort a person of this world. The Scriptures tell us that there is no peace for these people. Notice the following inspired words: “Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him… There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked… But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked… They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known” (Isaiah 3:11, Isaiah 48:22, Isaiah 57:20-21, and Romans 3:12-17).

If we tell worldly people “it will be okay”; we are lying to them. We don’t want to provide people with a false peace (Jeremiah 8:9-12 and Ezekiel 13:10-23). Nothing will be okay for those who do not obey the Gospel of Christ (II Thessalonians 1:7-9). Failed marriages, health problems, lost jobs, financial failures, natural disasters, and all other carnal matters do not at all stand above the Hell that awaits worldly people (Mark 9:43-48). There are no words that can remove the fate of those who reject the truth. What we can do is simple. We can tell people that which will lead them to the peace and comfort they are looking for.

Tell Them What They Need To Hear To Find Peace and Comfort

It is not popular to deal with grief, depression, etc. by telling people they have to change their lives to find peace and comfort. In fact, counselors (i.e. school counselors) are expected NOT to talk about God when counseling troubled folks (http://www.firstfreedom.org/education/CRC-FAQ.html). Yet, the word of God shows us that the way of peace is through the Scriptures. Notice these verses: “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them… My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee… The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)… Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord” (Psalms 119:165, Proverbs 3:1-2, Acts 10:36, and II Peter 1:2).

Having read the Scriptures above, we have to realize that the right thing to do when people are looking for peace and comfort is to point them to the Scriptures. When doing so, we shouldn’t do it just by suggestion either. We need to be clear in pointing out that these individuals need to obey those Scriptures to find the peace that comes through the Lord (Isaiah 26:3).

We can show those who are suffering in this world that we have peace because the Lord is our focus (Matthew 6:24-34). We can show them that things of this world do not shake us because we realize that we have greater things to come (II Corinthians 4:11-5:1). We can show them that we have invested ourselves in things that cannot be taken from us (Matthew 6:19-21 and Hebrews 6:9-12).

We can use those things to further explain that these suffering individuals can have that same peace and comfort in their lives. Yet, we must be clear that they must obey the Lord to have that mindset (Jeremiah 42:6, Acts 3:19, and Romans 2:7). The only true comfort we can help people obtain is the knowledge of eternal life in heaven through the word of God (Titus 1:1-3).

Conclusion

The only comfort we can offer to the lost is that, through the Gospel, they can find hope for a better life (Colossians 1:5-20). Let us never provide false comfort or peace (Ephesians 4:25). Do say those things that are needful for people to be saved (Acts 20:26-27). Remember that the souls of those whom are lost are much more important than their feelings (James 5:20).

Volume 12 – Issue 28 - April 1st, 2012