Guest Article: The Grieving Consoler by Joshua Gulley

Here’s an excellent article written by a good brother in Christ about overcoming setbacks and grief through serving others:

The Grieving Consoler by Joshua Gulley

 I don’t know what kind of relationship Jesus shared with John the Baptizer. Did their separate callings take them in different paths in which they rarely got to see each other? Did they often visit one another while growing up? I do know that once they began their ministry, they each recognized the other’s role in the will of God, prophesied in the Scriptures. The Bible records compliments paid by each to the other when speaking to large crowds. When John sent messengers to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah, Jesus replied in a beautifully poetic fashion: “The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not made to stumble because of Me” (Matthew 11:5-6).

So they perhaps had some personal affection for one another. The Bible doesn’t say directly, but in Matthew 14 when Jesus heard that John had been beheaded, He “withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.” We can surmise that Jesus must have been seeking solitude in order to grieve the loss of His friend. Nowadays when a man’s relative dies, we gather to him in crowds to comfort and console him. But in this instance, it was Jesus who we would suppose needed consolation, yet the Scripture says He was the one who felt compassion for the crowd. Perhaps His retreat on the sea, thinking about John’s untimely death, His own death coming a relatively short time in the future, and the temporary nature of man’s time on earth made Him more sensitive to the present needs of His fellow-man. Whatever the case, here we see the ultimate fulfillment of the command to “look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).

And herein might we learn a lesson: perhaps there are some people who seem to retreat from society after loved ones die, becoming bitter and aloof, dwelling on their own sorrow and tribulation. The Master, however, did not do this. Rather, His grief seemed to create more room in His heart for the people who were still there. Lord, help us that grief in our own lives will cause us to count even more precious the ones remaining.

Josh teaches music at the High School level and he is a member of the Smithville Church of Christ

#consolation, #grief-recovery, #guest-article, #jesus, #mourning, #overcoming-setbacks, #serving-others, #sorrow

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Psalm 137 What 70 Years of Regret Did

Because of their horrendous sins, God’s people (both Northern Israel and Southern Judah) were violently removed from their Promised Land for 70 years (2 Kings 17:5-23; 2 Chronicles 36:15-23). This Psalm was clearly written to express the Israelites’ sense of loss and regret while in Babylon, and their anticipation of revenge which God would bring against the Babylonians. That “payback” came at the hands of Cyrus, king of Persia, who then caused the Israelites to return and rebuild their Holy City, Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Jeremiah 50:18-32).

Verses 1-6 state the woeful lesson learned;

Verses 7-9 give the somber belief that God repays “in kind” (Jeremiah 50:29).

Verses 1-6: Being “by the rivers of Babylon” instead of their Jordan River was a constant reminder of why they were in Babylon. Those rivers included the Tigris and Euphrates, Chebar (Ezekiel 1:3), and the Ulai (Daniel 8:2). Israelite sorrow was so deep they “wept” when they thought about destroyed Jerusalem; “hung [their] harps” because there was nothing to sing about, even though their captors requested a song; and prayed for their “right hand” become useless and “tongue” stick to the “roof of” their mouth, if they tried to forget their “chief joy” should be in Jerusalem.

Verses 7-9: Israel was descended from Jacob, and his twin, Esau, became known as “Edom” (Genesis 25:30; 36:1). “Edom,” thus was a name for non-Israelites, or “nations” in the Old Testament and “Gentiles” in the New Testament. The Babylonians who had destroyed Jerusalem are represented by the term “sons of Edom” and specifically, “daughter of Babylon” whom God was going to destroy at the time of this Psalm. That destruction has already taken place, and a lingering prophecy still affects that place today. “Babylon” is modern Iraq, and the first “Gulf War” was fought when Saddam Hussein declared he would excavate ancient Babylon and bring it back to its former glory. God had decreed otherwise: “’Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the LORD; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation’” (Jeremiah 25:12; also see Jeremiah 51:24-26, 59-64).  (Psalm 137: 8-9) These verses reflect what God promised would happen to Babylon: “’Let the violence done to me and my flesh be upon Babylon,’ The inhabitant of Zion will say; ‘And my blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea!’ Jerusalem will say” (Jeremiah 51:35). Babylon’s bloodshed of innocent children in Jerusalem was repaid in kind when the Persians did the same to Babylonian babies.

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#babylon, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #iraq, #obedience, #payback, #repentance, #sorrow

In Memory of Harold Adcock

His name isn’t one that’s recognized throughout the brotherhood. Actually, his name probably wouldn’t be recognized in all the congregations of the Lord’s church within the county. But the name Harold Adcock meant a lot to his home congregation.

In the past, Harold served his congregation as a Bible class teacher, and also as an elder. He enjoyed singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs and making melody in his heart to the Lord and he did so as a song leader for some 50 years.

Harold wasn’t raised attending the services of the churches of Christ, but he saw to it that his children got the opportunities that he did not. He was a realist, but an encourager at the same time. He loved to laugh. He loved children, and often mentioned them in his prayers, especially at the beginning of Sunday School. He loved God, he loved his family, he loved the truth and he loved the church.

Harold’s example will continue to live on in God’s kingdom at Keltonburg while he continues to live on with the King.

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

#death, #heaven, #obituaries, #sorrow

Worry

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, but only saps today of its strength.

—Archibald Joseph Cronin, Scottish novelist, 1896-1981

Psalms 37:3 – Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#sorrow, #time, #worry

Holiday Depression?

Some people fear the holidays because they believe they will suffer deep depression and may more likely commit suicide

According to an article written in the Cleveland “Plain Dealer” newspaper, suicides are actually lower during the month of December than at any other time of the year.

People do experience grief more acutely during the holidays mainly because there are traditions they’ve developed that strongly remind them of loved ones they’ve lost.

An example was a woman who lost her family to a plane crash. They had always celebrated the holidays in Florida, a tradition the woman continued after her family was killed. She became distraught during the holiday, but continued to go to Florida and sat on the beach sobbing.

One method of decreasing the depression is by changing the tradition.

A better way is to lift oneself up with the scriptures’ teaching about resurrection and eternity. Studying the scriptures can allow one to see above the sorrow. Do you believe Jesus can help you climb above it?

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV).

Obedience to Jesus allows one to see a new life, and that life in Christ never really ends..

 

#bible-study, #eternity, #sorrow