Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
1 Thessalonians 4:13,14
Do Not Grieve
We’re not always sure what hope looks like. No hope, however, is easy to spot.
Frustrated folks in corrupt countries see no way up or out, so they lash out in violence, torching cars and burning buildings. American families, who have maxed out their credit cards and can’t figure a way out from under the debt, often have a sense of hopelessness. In instances like these, having no hope of a future causes grief to set in.
It doesn’t have to be like that. Just when there seems to be no way out, Jesus says, “I am the way” (John 14:6). Just when death seems to have a victory, Christ shows us his empty tomb. Just when your world seems to get worse and worse, Jesus says, “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).
Even when we lose a loved one to death, we can have hope. The apostle Paul assured the Christians of his day that those who have died trusting in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins are not lost. Their souls are in heaven with Jesus. And, on the day Jesus returns, he will bring those souls with him and reunite their souls with their bodies which will be raised from the grave.
So, if you have lost a Christian loved one, do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. Look forward to being reunited in the halls of heaven!
Dear Jesus, give me hope that only you can give because you conquered death and guarantee a glorious resurrection to all who believe in you, life is not hopeless and death is not final. Amen.