We all grieve. We grieve the loss of a job . . . the loss of our home . . . the loss of a loved one. Grieving is common to us all. What is not common to us all is the way in which we grieve. There are only two ways to grieve in this life: the world’s way is without hope; God’s way is with hope.
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.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13)
Those who are without Christ grieve without hope. The loss of a job becomes hopeless. The loss of a home becomes shattering. The loss of a loved one becomes paralyzing. But for those who are in Christ, grief is the gateway into an unimaginable hope. In the eyes of the watching world, Jesus was nailed to a hopeless situation on Golgotha’s Hill. But three days later, what was hopeless became the most exultant hope the world has ever seen!
The resurrection of Jesus turns the most hopeless of situations into an opportunity for a holy hope. To be sure, we still grieve when facing a variety of losses on this side of the grave. But we do not grieve as others do, as those who have no hope. Godly grieving is a grace reserved for those who have placed their trust in Jesus. In Him the flame of hope burns eternal, even when we cannot fuel it in our own strength.
The Gospel is the key that unlocks the door that leads to the grace of godly grieving. The Gospel assures us that God is in control of all things; nothing happens to us that doesn’t first pass through His nail-scarred hands. We grieve the loss of a job with the hope of knowing Jesus is in control of all things. We grieve the loss of our home with the hope of finding shelter in Him. We grieve the loss of loved ones with the hope of reuniting with them in eternity.
When Jesus conquered sin and death, He demonstrated a power that is beyond all comparison in the earthly dimension. There is no darkness He cannot light . . . no pain He cannot ease . . . no problem He cannot solve. It is the power of Omnipotence that is available to us in the Gospel. We need only receive it and rest in it daily to let the grace of godly grieving flow.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!