Good morning! Over the past 13 months, there have been a number of individuals who died due to COVID-19 or other reasons. As a nation, community, church, family and friends we grieved and some are still grieving the loss of their loved one. While each day without those we love and have known we understand their is a future hope to see them again. Join me today as Apostle Paul shares that hope in verses 13 through 18.
Bible verses: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NLT
“13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.”
Apostle Paul’s closing line said, “encourage each other with these words.” Those words are the words of hope that the Lord will return and as believers we will be with Him forever.
Sisters and brothers, there are no words that will magically heal the hearts of the broken, but the hope that we as believers have allow us to grieve with an expectation that we will and our loved ones will see the Lord and be with Him forever. There is no greater peace than knowing this truth.
Father God we thank you for this temporary life. Lord, we know that this world is a temporary place until your return. Lord, we thank you for the hope that we have – that we will see you and as believers will be with you forever. Lord, we pray for peace and comfort for those who have lost a loved one during this pandemic. Lord, we pray for those who were unable to grieve or bury their loved one(s) the way that they had desired to. Lord, unfortunately we can’t turn back time, but we know you can comfort and heal the brokenhearted. Lord, we also pray for families who lost their loved ones due to violence, hatred and mass shootings. Lord, each of those people mattered to someone including you. So, Lord help those who are left behind to grieve the loss to mend, to find peace and grieve in a healthy way. Lord, you know every person’s need and we ask that you be true to your word – and as Provider, provide for their needs. Lord, continue to work in us and transform us into who you have called us to be. Help us to encourage each other. In Jesus name, amen.
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