So many hurting people crave comfort. They crave a sign that they are going to be okay or that their departed loved ones are okay.
Grieving people crave comfort so much that they may be deceived into believing that a butterfly that lands on them is their loved one come to give them a sign. Or that a rainbow or cardinal is a gift from their departed family member. Or a heart in the clouds indicates their loved one is with them.
Yet scripture tells us that when we die, when we are away from our earthly body, we who are believers in Jesus Christ are at home with the Lord. Our loved ones are in the presence of Christ. Jesus is at the right hand of God the Father. Departed saints are in His presence worshipping at the throne of God
When we see beautiful things in nature – a flower, cardinal, butterfly, heart-shaped clouds, or lovely sunset – we must remember this passage from James:
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
James 1:16-18 | ESV
Do not be deceived, my sweet friends. These gifts – amazing gifts in nature all around us – are not signs from our departed loved ones. Every good and perfect gift is from God.
God loves us so much He gives us good gifts. One way He comforts us is by giving us beauty. He lets us know he cares for us first by having sent Jesus to die so we may have eternal life. He tell us in His Word that He loves us. And He gives us gifts of nature and beauty to show His glory, His power, and His love for us.
It is easy to be deceived when we are hurting.
When we are grieving the loss of someone we love, we desperately want and need comfort. We miss them. We miss their presence in our lives. Our missing them can lead us to misunderstand that our loved ones have become angels or god-like and that they now protect us, watch over us, and send us gifts and signs.
And so, when we see a feather, beautiful sunflower, or our loved one’s favorite rose, it’s nice to think of those things as being from them. It brings us a kind of comfort.
Yet, that kind of comfort is fleeting, it is an insufficient shadow of the true comfort we receive from God and it gives us only momentary peace.
Peace – true peace – comes from God, the Fathet of all mercies and God of comfort. Everlasting peace, which includes fullness of joy, is from God. Jesus told us in John that he came and taught Truth so that we would have fullness of joy, that we would have His peace not the peace the world gives, and that we may have eternal life.
When we begin to walk with God by faith, believe He is who He says is (that Jesus Christ is the Son of God), confess our sins and ask forgiveness we take our first baby steps into eternal life. As we grow in our knowledge of God and in our relationship with Him, we are living eternal life, today, here on earth. An eternal life that never ends! We will live eternally with our Savior even after our earthly body perishes.
Part of our eternal life is growing in our knowledge of Truth. Growing in our knowledge of the Word. We learn who He is; we learn His nature; we learn what He has done for us and what He promises to do.
As we grow in our understanding of God and in our relationship with Him, we need to put off falsehood and cling to truth. Part of this includes understanding about what happens when people die. Friends, please study your Bible and learn what God’s Word says about life after death.
Do not be deceived by your desire for comfort. Do not settle for temporary or insufficient comfort from worldly things. Do not listen to lies from the enemy. Know truth! The truth is that every good and perfect gift is from God.
This study will help you learn truth from God’s Word about life after death and comfort from God.
Available from www.precept.org.