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. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
It’s kind of ironic that some of the verses today are to give us hope and encouragement when a loved one dies. I’m writing this an hour or so before my grandmother Winnie Betrus’ celebration of life takes place. I love it when God brings everything together and shows His presence in a great way. Reading these verses today gave me that continual hope and peace that we all need to have.
Friends, we have what some of the world doesn’t have, HOPE. Remember, that is one of my favorite words and I love that we are reminded that as Christians, we have HOPE because we are promised eternity with Jesus. Jesus died for us, rose from the dead and lives in Heaven. We too get to do the same. We get to leave this earthly world behind us; the pain, sickness, hurts and disappointments and cling to the everlasting joy that awaits us. We have been given this HOPE, PEACE, AND COMFORT. God is good!
Eternal Father, You provide us with such great HOPE knowing that our end of life here on earth means it’s now time to start eternity with You. We are incredibly blessed and thankful for this most precious gift. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.