1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.” NKJV
I am not sure why I feel promoted to post this devotional today, but sense that there are some grieving that need encouragement. I have no doubt that each person who reads this has lost a loved one and has known the unpleasantness of GRIEF. I’ve seen people I cared very much for pass over to the other side and was terribly uncertain about the condition of their soul. Oh, I’d talked to them about the Lord and some of them had assured me that Jesus was their Lord but their lives seemed to contradict that assertion and thus the cause for concern. I make no attempt to judge them for that is God’s business and I will continue to hope that they were, in fact, sheltered beneath His wings as they departed this life and entered that eternal state.
I know the emptiness of having a loved one or a family member depart this life and the realization that I will never, in this life, get to hear them speak or to tell them the things that are in my heart concerning them again. I know the pain of the loneliness and at the same time the joy of knowing that they passed from a troubled world into one that knows no trouble. They passed from a world filled with sorrow to one that knows no sorrow. I know that they are in a far better world than those of us left behind but missing them and grieving that loss is still natural and even healthy when done biblically.
I’ve been in memorial services where there was such a spirit or morbidity that one could hardly stand and in others where there was such a spirit of peace and joy that one could hardly keep from leaping to one’s feet and shouting “Hallelujah.” In one there was HOPE and in the other only GRIEF.
I really like the way Paul concluded his statement concerning this eventuality and reality of death. He said in verse 18 – “Therefore comfort one another with these words.” What words?
- That we do not sorry as those who have no hope.
- That our loved ones who have died in the Lord are with the Lord.
- That those of us who remain will one day also be with the Lord.
- That Jesus is coming back for us all.
- That we will one day leave this world behind giving it a permanent wave and entering into the eternal presence of the Lord.
Those wonderful words of comfort! Losing a loved one when there is HOPE is a GRIEVING that can be endured and even be a source of rejoicing as well as giving us a purpose and determination to live in such a way as to see them again.
May God be with you as you go through this day! May He turn your mourning into dancing and your sorrow into joy in all things and at all times! BLESSINGS!