Hope Beyond Tomorrow
I Thessalonians 4:18 "Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
There are many moments in our lives that are difficult to face. Having to stand at the side of the grave of a loved one, or close friend are especially difficult and memorable. The finality of death, the realities of earthly separation have brought many of us to tears and caused us heartache. For some, these are past memories from years gone by where we stood around a grave, laid a rose, and said our earthly farewells. Perhaps for others, the memories and the string of separation and loss are still very vivid in the memory. For thousands of years, similar scenes with similar feelings have been replayed millions of times over, but today as many can reflect on past memories, it important to be reminded of the great reality that death has been conquered.
There are aspects of death that perhaps we may hate. We can hate the havoc it can cause, the feelings it gives and the permanence that it produces, and yet dear child of God, we can be ever so thankful that the sting of death has been conquered (1 Cor.15:55)! It was the early Christians in Thessalonica that were particularly struggling with the loss of fellow believers because with death came the loss of hope. The remaining Christians most likely had thought that those who had passed away had missed their opportunity. The hope of seeing Christ; the hope of glory had slipped away and it is for this reason that the apostle reminds the living believers that we have the greatest of hopes that death will never be able to take away.
What reality gives us the assurance of hope beyond the grave? What moment, what event so conquered the sting and power of death to give us today a hope beyond the grave? What truth can allow us to stand beside the graves of those who are asleep and sing, “In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore?”
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” – 1 Thes.4:14
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” – 1 Cor.15:22
Dear believer, when the realities of death surround us we may hurt and sorrow but not because of a loss of hope. We have a hope anchored in our risen Saviour that can encourage our hearts and give us strength in the times most needed. Perhaps lift up your voice today and sing “Because he lives I can face tomorrow, because he lives all fear is gone, because I know he holds the future and life is worth the living just because he lives!”
Kyle Wilson is commended with his wife to full time service in Nicaragua, from the assembly that meets in Carleton Gospel Hall, Vancouver. He is in fellowship in the assembly in El Valle, and has two young children.