Summary: The hope we have in Christ sustains us in the face of death.
Paul says that those of us who know Christ, "do not sorrow as those who have no hope," Though we face times of sorrow, Paul tells us, we will face them differently because of the hope we have in Christ. While the world thinks of hope in terms of "wishful thinking," the Bible speaks of hope as a "confident assurance."
Today, as we face this time of sorrow, I want us to think about the hope - the confident assurance - we have in Christ.
1. It is a living hope -
It is a living hope because we have a personal relationship with a living Savior. Jesus said, "/ tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned: he has crossed over from death to life" (John 5:24).
We have life because we have invited Jesus Christ, the One who died for us and who was raised to live forevermore into our lives. When we turn to Him in faith, Jesus comes to indwell us through the person of His Holy Spirit, never to leave us. Because of this personal relationship we enjoy with the One who conquered sin, Satan, death and Hell for us, we can rum to Him at any time about anything, and find a friend who not only understands the burden of our heart, but has the power to lift the burden from our heart! We can cast our cares upon Him, knowing that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7)!
"He knows, He love, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim;
And He will meet the need of all those,
Who leave their burden with Him."
Your loved one found comfort through their relationship with the living Lord Jesus, and you can too. Let me encourage you today to cast all your care upon Him.
2. It is a loving hope -
When we enter into the living hope that is ours through faith in Christ, we find that though He is a perfect Savior, we are still far less than perfect. Sometimes we fail the Lord through either doing that which is wrong, or failing to do that which is right.
Yet we find this assurance, that the love relationship we have with Him is such, that nothing, not even our failures, can separate us from him.
Speaking of those who come to Him by faith, Jesus said, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand" (John 10:28-29).
The Apostle Paul tells us, "If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). God stands ready to always forgive us when we fail (1 John 1:9), and He promises that nothing nor no one can separate us from His love.
(Romans 8:35; 37-39)
Of course, though our Lord offers unfailing love and un-exhaustible forgiveness, we should not presume upon His love. We should commit ourselves to not allowing His love be an excuse for neglecting our obligation to live for Him, but rather let His love provide motivation to live for Him.
A. Heaven is a place of eternal reward -
The hope that the child of God has is an eternal hope. Peter tells us that the Child of God has "an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade - kept in heaven for you"(1 Peter 1:4).
Your loved one has passed into the place where they will receive their eternal inheritance.
B. Heaven is a place of eternal rest -
"They will rest from their labor" (Revelation 14:13).
"How beautiful heaven must be! Sweet home of the happy and free! Fair haven of rest for the weary -
How beautiful heaven must be!"
C. Heaven is a place of rejoicing - (Revelation 21:4)
D. Heaven is a place of reunion -
WHEN I MUST LEAVE YOU
When I must leave you for a little while -
Please do not grieve and shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you
Through the years
But start out bravely
With a gallant smile;
And for my sake And in my name
Live on and do All things the same
Feed not on your loneliness
On empty days. But fill each waking hour
In useful ways
Reach out your hand In comfort and in cheer
And Jesus in turn will comfort you
And hold you near;
And never/ never
Be afraid to die
For I am waiting for you in the sky!