13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13 NLT)

One of the greatest sorrows that shrouds our hearts is the loss of those we love. Through the years I’ve spoken at funerals from all walks of life. I’ve sat with parents who have done the unimaginable and have had to bury their children, families who’ve gathered around the casket of the patriarch or matriarch of their family, and with husbands and wives who’ve lost the love of their life. I’ve never known anyone who didn’t want another day, even another moment with the one they loved.

I can’t speak for others, but I can share with you that my most painful moment was saying “goodbye” to my mom. She was a rock, my cheerleader, she loved her family passionately, and she was the greatest counselor I’ve ever known. She’s been gone for three years now, but there’s not a day that I don’t miss her. My mom was such an important part of my life that if it weren’t for one thing, one truth, I would have been paralyzed by the pain of losing her. That single truth is this: My mom knew Jesus as Lord and Savior of her life and her hope, her assurance as well as mine, was in the promises of Jesus. That is what Paul meant when he wrote,

13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13 NLT)

I’ve grieved the loss of my mom, but I’ve not grieved like those who have no hope. My “hope” is not founded upon some nebulous idea that there is a “better place” somewhere or that my mom lived such a good life that surely God will receive her. My hope is firmly established on the promises of Jesus. Jesus told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them and that He would come back for them (John 14:6). In the verse following 1 Thessalonians 4:13, Paul wrote,

14 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 4:14 NIVO)

My hope and the hope of all of those I’ve been with who’s loved ones had trusted in Jesus is based on what Jesus has done, what He has promised to do, and on absolutely nothing else. I still grieve those special moments that I wish mom could be a part of, but I cherish knowing that my mom is part of a “moment,” an eternal moment that I can’t wait to be a part of as well.

 

52 Weeks 52 Verses: Week 49
1 Thessalonians 4:13
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