Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NIV)
After a recent visit to my grandmother’s grave, my uncle said to me, “You know, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m wrong in doing this, but when we keep weeping at her grave like that, we’re devaluing Jesus’ resurrection.” I nodded in agreement. While we’re entitled to grieve the loss of our loved ones, it’s how we grieve that sets us apart from those who don’t believe in the resurrection. That’s the point the apostle Paul was making in today’s passage. He did not want the Thessalonians to be uninformed about those who had gone to be with the Lord, so they wouldn’t grieve like the rest of the world, who have no hope. “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” And because of this belief, because of this hope, we can grieve differently. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, God does, if we believe His Word and allow it to renew our minds.