We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
Death and Deliverance
Death is a reality of our human experience. It’s a topic that is heavy and costly and worthy of our grief. This is especially true in light of the love that we carry for those who have gone before us.
And while grief is a necessary part of the way we process our most complex emotions, Scripture tells us that the way we grieve as believers looks different from that of the rest of the world. So, for our hope, grief, and everything in-between, we have an answer found in the form of a risen Savior.
No Longer A Threat
Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica regarding death and its relationship to Christ’s followers. He informs his brothers and sisters in the church that while they lament the losses of their loved ones, the grief they experience isn’t deemed hopeless or hollow.
He writes that Christ’s resurrection power steeps us in His comfort. Because if we believe that Christ died and rose again, this same power that emptied out the grave is still at work in the lives of those belonging to Him. And He alone is able to keep us from the threat of eternal death and the sin that once separated us from Him.
Hope Amidst The Pain
Paul doesn’t write that the joy of the Lord dismisses our suffering; instead, he reminds them that although the pain of loss is inevitable, our hope in the risen Savior comes along for the journey.
The message that Paul relays to this mourning church isn’t one that downplays the reality of their heartbreak; rather, it declares that He is there with us in the midst of our hope, grief, and everything in-between.
Do you know anyone who would receive comfort from the apostle Paul’s words here in 1 Thessalonians? Ask the Lord to lead you towards those in need of His hope and presence. May you – in the power of the Spirit – be a light in the midst of the darkest grief.