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Seeds of the Kingdom

Comforting Words

by Peter Brokaar

23 September 2023

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For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, NKJV

Do you ever have a day that just feels rough, hard-going or discouraging? I wish I could claim that this never happens to me. Reality, however, is different. I was having a pretty rough day recently. But all day long these words kept coming to mind `Comfort one another with these words`. This is a quote from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians.

It is part of a wonderful passage about the Lord’s return (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11). Christians may have differing views on God’s end-time plans, on eschatology generally and on the Rapture specifically. But one thing we should all be able to agree on: Jesus is coming back. And, one day, we will all see Him face to face. This will be either when we die, or when He comes to get us, whichever comes first.

Paul tells us that, when this amazing moment of the Lord’s return is finally here, there will be a shout from heaven, a voice of an archangel, and the trumpet (or shofar) of God. That’s a lot of spectacular and impressive sounds. We’re guaranteed not to miss it!

On the 16 September, it was the biblical Feast of Trumpets, and when the new moon was seen, a great many shofars were blown in Israel to herald in this Feast, as God commanded Israel. Have you ever heard a shofar being blown? It is a piercing sound that somehow seems to penetrate into the depth of our being. I believe this day is a great reminder for us that one day that final trumpet will be blown, and Jesus will return. That certainly is a most comforting thought.

In this life we will have our struggles and our share of rough days. I believe the Bible teaches us that, the closer to the Lord’s return we are, the more these struggles will intensify. ‘Birth pangs’ seem an apt description, chosen by Jesus Himself, and something every mother can help us understand. Contractions get more intense and with less reprieve between them, as the birth of the child approaches. After that, the joy of new life!

So, when things are a bit tough, either because of the birth-pangs of our times, or just when someone is having a bad day, let’s comfort ourselves and each other with these wonderful words. And, whenever we think about the Feast of Trumpets, let’s rejoice in the amazing and guaranteed prospect of seeing Jesus face-to-face!

Peter Brokaar is Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.

 

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