In Matthew Chapter 5 verses 3-4, Jesus tells us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” And, ” Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” When a loved one, who has followed or accepted CHRIST, and has lived a life seeking and doing the will of GOD, dies: we do not weep and mourn because their life’s journey here on earth has come to an end. We weep and mourn because their life will no longer be a part of our journey and our life while we still remain.

Quite frankly, there really is no remedy for the deep sadness or for the sense of loss that we experience when someone we love passes away. We tend to remember the good things about a deceased loved one and focus on characteristics such as kindness, loyalty, faithfulness, and love. If we dare to bring up some good memories, we are just trading a brief respite for further sadness and pain, because this causes us to miss them even more. This state of sadness can be quite difficult to bear and the Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 verses 3-4 that there is indeed a time to weep and a time to mourn. However, the same scripture tells us that there is also a time to laugh and a time to dance. For while there is no immediate remedy for the sadness and loss during a time of mourning, there is still hope, there is comfort, and there is faith.  A faith in the goodness of GOD and his unfailing promises.

Not the promises of prosperity and riches, which at a time of loss seem frivolous and unimportant, but promises like we find in the book of John chapter 5 verse 24 when JESUS says, “He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, HAS EVERLASTING LIFE, and SHALL NOT COME INTO CONDEMNATION; but is PASSED FROM DEATH UNTO LIFE.” The promise in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 of receiving a new body; a heavenly body made for us by GOD himself. It is not that any one of us wants to die and get rid of the bodies that clothe us, rather we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life! 2 Corinthians Chapter 5 also promises in verse 17 that if any man be in CHRIST, he/or she is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. The promise that as a follower of CHRIST our sins will be forgiven, remembered no more, and removed from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). The promise that as we walk from death to life and receive our new heavenly body, that we will be granted citizenship and full access to the heavenly city mentioned in Revelation Chapter 21. A city where the streets are paved with gold, where GOD himself will live among us, and He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and there will be no more sorrow, or crying, or pain, for those things will be gone forever!

In the book of Matthew Chapter 24 verse 3, the disciples asked JESUS, “What will be the sign of these things, of your coming , and of the end of the world?” JESUS answered them with a list of things: 1. False teachers in the church 2. War and rumors of war 3. Ethnicity against ethnicity, nation against nation 4. Famines 5. Pestilences- and 6. Earthquakes in diverse places. Look around, it seems this list of things is taking place in our current world, and one cannot help but wonder if the return of CHRIST could happen very soon in our own lifetime. If He does return, what might that look like? Well, the appearing of Christ is described in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 verse 16- For THE LORD HIMSELF shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of GOD: and the dead in CHRIST shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet THE LORD in the air: and so shall we ever be with THE LORD. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words. So we find comfort in knowing that if THE LORD were to return anytime in the future, that our loved one will be counted as one of, “the dead in CHRIST,” they will go before us and we will join them as we all come together to be forever with our JESUS! 

This is where we place our hope. The hope of eternal life, which GOD, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. (Titus 1:2) So be thankful that your loved one was a part of your life and your journey here on earth and know that you will be seeing them soon.

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Dr. Dinesh S. Michel

Loneliness is a common human experience that transcends age, occupation, and social status. Even in the context of church ministry, where pastors and leaders are surrounded by a congregation, it’s possible to feel isolated and alone. This article explores the unique challenges of loneliness within church ministry and offers strategies that I myself am using to combat it.

The Loneliness Paradox

At first glance, it might seem paradoxical that individuals in church ministry, who are often surrounded by a community of believers, can experience loneliness. However, ministry can be isolating for several reasons:

Role Expectations:

​ Pastors and leaders are often seen as spiritual guides, and there’s an expectation that they should have it all together. This can make it challenging for them to admit their struggles, including loneliness.

Lack of Peer Relationships:

​ While pastors and leaders have strong connections with their congregations, they may lack close peer relationships within their own ministry circles. They often shoulder the burdens of others but may not have someone to share their own burdens with.

High Stress Levels:

​ The demands of church ministry, including sermon preparation, pastoral care, and administrative tasks, can lead to high stress levels. This stress can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Strategies to Combat Loneliness

  1. Seek Accountability:

    Pastors and leaders should actively seek out mentors or peers with whom they can build accountability relationships. These relationships provide a safe space to share struggles and receive support.

  2. Prioritize Self-Care:

    Ministry can be all-consuming, leaving little time for personal well-being. It’s crucial to prioritize self-care, including regular exercise, rest, and time for hobbies that bring joy and relaxation.

  3. Establish Boundaries:

    Set clear boundaries for work hours and responsibilities. Overextending oneself can lead to burnout and increased feelings of loneliness.

  4. Foster Peer Connections:

    Create opportunities for pastors and leaders within your church community to connect and build peer relationships. This can be done through small groups, retreats, or regular meetings specifically for leaders.

  5. Spiritual Discipline:

    Deepen your spiritual discipline. Regular prayer, meditation of the word, and reflection can provide a sense of connection with God, helping to alleviate loneliness.

  6. Professional Counseling:

    Don’t hesitate to seek professional counseling if loneliness becomes overwhelming. Therapists can provide guidance and support to address these feelings.

Loneliness in church ministry is a real and challenging issue. However, with awareness and proactive steps, pastors and leaders can combat these feelings and create a more supportive and connected ministry environment. Remember that it’s okay to seek help and that you don’t have to battle loneliness alone. By prioritizing self-care, seeking peer relationships, and deepening your spiritual discipline, you can find greater fulfillment and connectedness in your ministry journey.

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Let’s examine an important issue in many parts of the Body of Christ. Biblically, “What is the role of women in the church?” As a prophetic reformer, I have an assignment. I’m trying to write my vision and make it plain so leaders can run with it! I’m for church growth, evangelism, and the Great Commission!

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Recently, one morning, I asked the Lord, “What do you want to show me today?” I heard words quoted to me that Jesus had spoken to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb. “Stop clinging to Me for I have not yet ascended to My Father.”

Strange! What could that possibly mean?

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