Grief with Hope

Today I attended the funeral for the grandfather of my best friend. He lived to bee 88 and celebrated his 65th anniversary this year. He still referred to his wife as his “bride.”

Last time I was here in New York it was to celebrate the start of a new life when I officiated at the wedding of my friend’s brother. There was excitement and hope in the air as that happy couple committed themselves to one another.

It is a marked contrast how different life can be just a few months later.

That sense of hope disappeared and was replaced with sadness, frustration, and periodic numbness.

We grieve the loss of human life – even a long life we celebrate – we still suffer at the loss. But as Christians we have something more than just numbness. We have grief with hope.

I Thessalonians 4:13-14

And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.

I wouldn’t know how to grieve the loss of a loved one if I did not have this hope to cling to. Tonight, I say a special prayer for all those who grieve with no hope. May God’s abundant love break through to the heart of every person on our planet, so that no matter happens when we grieve we have hope!

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