Our Daily Bread Devotional For July 24, 2023 : Topic – Hope in Grief
Bible in a Year:
Do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope : 1 Thessalonians 4:13
Our passage today isn’t suggesting believers in Jesus shouldn’t grieve. Grieving the loss of a loved one is a natural and necessary process that takes time. With death can come gut-wrenching pain and heartache. But here we’re instructed to not grieve like “the rest of mankind”—nonbelievers—“who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Our grief is made more bearable because the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, is with us (John 14:15–17); and we have the assurance of being reunited with our believing loved ones and of enjoying our Savior together, forever. Believers in Jesus know this life is not all there is. We have the promise of eternal life (3:16). Our loved ones are safe in Christ’s arms, and one day we’ll be reunited in that place where “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4) and where “death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54).
Message : Louise was a lively, playful girl who brought smiles to all she met. At the age of five, she tragically succumbed to a rare disease. Her sudden passing was a shock to her parents, Day Day and Peter, and to all of us who worked with them. We grieved along with them.
Yet, Day Day and Peter have found the strength to keep going. When I asked Day Day how they were coping, she said they drew strength from focusing on where Louise was—in Jesus’ loving arms. “We rejoice for our daughter whose time is up to go into eternal life,” she said. “By God’s grace and strength, we can navigate through the grief and continue to do what He has entrusted us to do.”
Day Day’s comfort is found in her confidence in the heart of God who revealed Himself in Jesus. Biblical hope is much more than mere optimism; it’s an absolute certainty based on God’s promise, which He will never break. In our sadness, we can cling to this powerful truth, as Paul encouraged those grieving over departed friends: “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 4:14). May this certain hope give us strength and comfort today—even in our grief.
Reflect & Pray
How can you draw strength from God’s promises to those who follow Him? How can you comfort someone grieving over a loved one or friend?
Father, thank You for Your hope and comfort today. Strengthen me today so I can encourage others too.
For further study, read Clinging to Hope in the Storm.