1 Thessalonians 4:13,14
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.” (NRSV)
This week a very dear young wife and mother of two young children, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Many prayed for her healing. We all wanted her to watch her children grow up. We wanted the children to have their mother with them. But this is not how it turned out.
In times of tragedy we cannot always make sense out of life. The answers to the questions we ask do not seem apparent this side of heaven, and we grieve deeply.
Even Jesus wept as he stood by the tomb of Lazarus, a friend who had died. We read that Jesus “was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” Here we find the shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus wept.” John 11:35
Jesus knew that he was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, but he wept anyway. He identified with the sorrow of humanity. He may have been thinking of how many times this scene of grief would be repeated, times when he would not be there to bring the dead back to life.
Christians have the hope of eternal life with Christ and this helps to lessen the pain. Shared sorrow brings comfort too. Those who have experienced similar loss are the best comforters. Our own sorrow teaches us how to share in the sorrow of others.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3 NIV
Prayer–Heavenly Father, although we do not understand why people have to suffer or lose loved ones, we thank you that we have an eternal hope and that you promise to comfort us. Bring comfort today to those who are grieving. Amen.