December 08, 2012

Hopeful Grieving

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
—1 Thessalonians 4:13


Can you identify with the sorrow outlined in this verse?

The believers in Thessalonica were eager for the return of the Lord, and Paul wanted them to understand that if any fellow believers had already died, that didn’t mean they would miss out on the blessing of eternal life with Christ.

Paul wrote this to assure believers that they did not have to grieve without hope, as other people do.

All who believe in Christ can trust that others who have “fallen asleep in him” are now with Christ and that God will bring them with Christ when he comes again.

After describing amazing things that will happen as Jesus comes back to earth, Paul concludes, “And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

There is hope in every grief. There is hope for the suffering church in Thessalonica, and there is hope for us in our different sorrows.

Jesus came to earth to show us that God is with us and will always be with us. Death cannot wiggle in between Jesus and us; death can never separate us from God! (See Romans

8:31-39; 1 Corinthians 15.)

Father God, thank you for the comfort of Romans 8, that “neither death nor life … nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Amen.

About the author — Morris Greidanus

Beginning in 1964, Morris Greidanus served churches in Alberta, Ontario, and Michigan. He was campus pastor at the University of Toronto from 1968 to 1974. After retiring in 2002, he served on various interim tasks in churches and educational institutions until he passed away in 2017. Morris and his wife, Alice, were married 58 years and had three children, five grandchildren, and a growing number of great-grandchildren.

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