Hopeful grief - Hope 103.2

Hopeful grief

By David ReayFriday 31 Jan 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read John 11:21-26,35

21 Martha said to Jesus,”Lord,if only you had been here,my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus told her,”Your brother will rise again.”

24 “Yes,” Martha said,”he will rise when everyone else rises,at the last day.”

25 Jesus told her,”I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live,even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this,Martha?”


35 Then Jesus wept. (NLT)

Some people have no time for sad funerals. Let’s just celebrate the person’s life; let our smiles conquer our tears. This is possibly a reaction against an earlier tendency to be overwhelmed by sombre morbidity at such times. And from a Christian perspective,it is a recognition that death need not be the end.

But there is no denying the sadness of death. Even if a person is in heaven with God,something to make us happy,they are not here on earth with us,something to make us sad. Even for the Christian,bereavement is bittersweet. As this passage reminds us,Jesus gives us the wonderful assurance that through trust in him we can conquer death just as he has done. Our death will be the end of a chapter,not the end of the story.

However,just after giving this promise,we read of him weeping at the tomb of Lazarus. The good news of life after death doesn’t obliterate the sadness of death here on earth. This reminds us that we grieve as Christians,but we don’t grieve hopelessly. We sadly weep,we gladly take hold of the promise of eternal life.

Our confident hope for future life with God is grasped in the midst of tears. Present loss and future expectation are the ingredients of our hopeful grief.

David Reay