who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. [2 corinthians 1:4]

i recently spoke at a memorial service for a young man that passed away suddenly and tragically. the family was hurting and grieving, obviously. the truth i shared with them was from romans chapter 8: nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, not even death.

[38] for i am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, [39] nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

this was meant as a comfort – that there is nothing God cannot and has not conquered that could oppose him. so if God is for us, nothing can stand against us. therefore we can not only hope in God’s ability to maintain our salvation through our death, but we can also turn to him to comfort us in the face of someone else’s death. said another way – my death will not separate me from the love of Christ, nor will the death of a loved one separate me from his love.

i was able to share that truth with the family and friends of this young man because i have experienced that comfort myself.

i was not the one that the comfort started and ended with. i was the one that pointed to the comforter. the one that has comforted me through death. i haven’t just learned about it, i have experienced it.

as we consider the idea of “the presence of God” i would give you this encouragement – turn to the presence of God to comfort you in your affliction. it is not a promise to remove the affliction, but it is a promise that God will be with you through it, and nothing can separate you from his love.

~ keith kozlowski