The Comfort of Promises

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

One of the most cliché verses to quote when someone dies is from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians. He told us that we don’t grieve the way that the rest of the world grieves because we know that one day, we will see them again. The problem is that though these words should comfort us, the majority of the time, they don’t. At least it doesn’t comfort me. When you lose a loved one that you’re close to, it almost feels like you lose part of yourself as well.

These words should be very encouraging and comforting to us, but they’re not because our focus isn’t fully on eternity but on the temporary. We don’t know how short this life is. We don’t realize that these few days on this earth without those loved ones who’ve gone on ahead of us will feel like a blink of an eye compared to the joyous eternity we will spend with them.

Dear LORD, please help me to focus my eyes on the joy of eternity instead of the grief that tries to consume me. Please fill me with Your everlasting peace and love. Please comfort us and teach us to encourage ourselves in You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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