Horror Displaced by Hope


Soon after my mother died (eight years ago today), I met with a friend who had lost her father some years earlier. She told me that at that point, she was able to think about that awful day without feeling the horror of it.


I now know what she means. Death of a loved one is horrible. Its suddenness, its consumption, its finality all leave the bereaved almost stupefied with disbelief, broken with the loss.


But by God’s grace, I don’t feel the horror of my mother’s death anymore. I still experience a lot of grieving moments, and I miss her more than words can say. But I’m able to say, along with the Apostle Paul, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (I Corinthians 15:55, NIV).


Hope has displaced the horror.


What pains me deeply tonight as I think about death is the reality of those who die and grieve without the hope and presence of Jesus in their lives. And many people are grieving around the world as I write. What else can take away the sting—the horror—of death but the peace that comes from knowing eternal life provided by a good God is on the other side of death?


This reality changes our grieving experience: “Now we do not want you to be uninformed, believers, about those who are asleep [in death], so that you will not grieve [for them] as the others do who have no hope [beyond this present life]” (1 Thessalonians 4:13, AMP).


The hope of eternal life beyond this present life is available for everyone who makes Jesus, the Son of God, their Lord and Savior. It is for those who understand that He bore the punishment of our sins (all of us have sinned against God) on Himself when He died on the cross and provided the hope of new life and forgiveness when He rose from the dead. If we believe, repent, and receive His forgiveness, He will set us on a journey that ends with eternal life.


What better hope can one have?

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