“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:18)
I don’t think I have ever heard this verse commented on unless some eschatological topic was being considered. This is understandable, I suppose, since the return of Jesus Christ to this earth is taught here; though not with all the detail that is sometimes ascribed to it, I may add. Actually, the question that prompted these words by Paul was whether or not we will ever see our departed loved ones again (v.13). And his answer was, “Yes, indeed.” Whatever may go on between now and then, of this we can be sure.
What words in this passage (vv.13-18) bring you the most comfort? I can tell you the ones I want you to whisper in my ear when sickness, tragedy, heartache, or separation swirls around my head. They are these: “…and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
Don’t show me charts and timetables when my heart is breaking. Remind me that the only appointment I’m sure of keeping is my rendezvous with Him. Impress me, if you will, with your predictions and your exegesis of obscure texts; but when I’m facing death, simply read to me the familiar Twenty-Third Psalm, and let David assure me again that one day, he and I shall “dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
“So shall we ever be with the Lord” For my money, there are no more comforting words than these. For as the songwriter has said,
“Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.”