Hope Through Death

Myrna Folkert

Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Therefore encourage one another with these words. (v. 18)

My mother died when I was 7, and my sister died when I was 15. Of course I had a full range of emotions including anger and fear. But my faith and resolve have actually been solidified through times of loss. The verses referenced today were used by the pastor who officiated at my sister’s funeral. They have been marked in my Bible all these years, and often I have revisited them. I have been acquainted with death many other times, as my dad, other relatives, and friends passed away. Each loss has brought very painful times. Yet I believe there is no greater comfort for those still living on earth than to know where their loved one has gone.

Death cannot have the final say in the life of a believer; instead, it is a passage into a much greater life. When someone dies we grieve, but we do not have to “grieve as others do who have no hope” (v. 13). The great promise is that Jesus secured our salvation by his death and resurrection.

Despite the pain of loss when those I held close died, I want to communicate hope for those who go through similar situations. The stages of grief are normal and natural, and the Lord will draw near to all who call to him in times of loss. Yet we can also envision that wonderful scene of being caught up together with our loved ones in the arms of our Lord on the final day. —Myrna Folkert

Prayer: Eternal Life, thank you for your beautiful promises.