Summary: Funeral sermon for one who has died in the Lord - a sudden death
Hosea 6:1 Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.
Let Us Return To the Lord
IN THE NAME OF HIM WHO IS THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE, DEAR FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF VICTOR NELSON:
Who knows when death my overtake me! Time passes on, my end draws near. How swiftly can my breath forsake me! How soon can life’s last hour appear! [CW #210 v.1]
Those words of the hymn writer again ring clear. Suddenly, without any warning, death took Victor. Death strikes without warning. It often strikes when we least expect it. When it does, we are reminded that our life here on earth is very uncertain. We don’t know when our last hour will come. God alone knows the length of our days.
The sudden death of Victor comes as a shock to all of us, but especially to you the members of his family. When death strikes it tears a family to pieces. It robs that family of someone they know and love very much. When that happens there is only one person who can heal such a wound. That person is our God. In your hour of grief and sorrow, I encourage you to turn to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.
The words of the prophet Hosea are a reminder of who it is that takes life. It is God. He is the giver of life. He has given life to us all and he alone has the right to take a life. This God is a loving God. He does things for the good of his believers because he loves them. The Lord takes a life when it is beneficial, not only for the person who dies but also for the loved ones left behind. You can be sure of this when it comes to your loved one. The Lord took her away from you at this time and under those circumstances because it was good for your loved one and you. Through his Apostle the Lord tells us, In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. [Romans 8:28]
While God tells us that all that he does for us is for our good, he does not tell us his reasons or what that good might be. He is not obligated to tell us. We have no claim on God. He doesn’t owe us an explanation for his actions. This much he does tell us, My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. . as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. [Isaiah 55:8-9]
The one thing that the Lord does expect of us is that we trust him. We are to put our complete confidence in him. We are to trust that he knows what he is doing and that what he is doing is for our good.
Even though we know that what the Lord does is for our good, yet when death strikes we are torn to pieces. We may feel crushed and broken hearted. Our life seems to fall apart. We don’t know what to do next. At such a time the prophet encourages us to turn to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.
The Lord, our God stands ready to heal our wounds caused by death. Only the Lord can fill the void left by the death of a loved one. He alone has the medicine that can cure the feeling of loss and loneliness.
The medicine the Lord gives us is his Gospel message of salvation. In that message we are told how Jesus, by his own death and resurrection, has destroyed death. Death is not the final end but merely the doorway that leads to a perfect life in heaven. Through faith in Jesus, as the One who has redeemed us from sin and death, we will have eternal life. Jesus assures us, I am the resurrection and the Life, he who believes in me will live even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. [John 11:25]
Even though your loved one is dead, he is alive. His soul is even now in heaven enjoying that perfect life which Jesus has won for all and will give to all who believe in him. That truth is a source of great comfort for you. Even though you will miss your loved one dearly, yet you know that he is in a better place than what this earth could ever be.