1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know what happens to those who die. We don’t want you to be sad, as other people are. They don’t have any hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again. When he returns, many who believe in him will have died already. We believe that God will bring them back with Jesus. 15 That agrees with what the Lord has said. When the Lord comes, many of us will still be alive. We tell you that we will certainly not go up before those who have died. 16 The Lord himself will come down from heaven. We will hear a loud command. We will hear the voice of the leader of the angels. We will hear a blast from God’s trumpet. Many who believe in Christ will have died already. They will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them. We will be taken up in the clouds. We will meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with him forever. 18 So cheer each other up with these words of comfort.
Losing someone when they die is a painful process and too often we avoid thinking of and talking about the process of death and dying. I recently watched a great TED talk by an emergency doctor named Peter Saul on this exact issue.
Paul’s point here though is that as believers in Christ, our perspective of death should be framed by our faith in the everlasting and the expectation of resurrection to eternal life… my experience though is that it is really hard not to get caught up in the madness of everyday life. Even as a relatively mature Christian, it requires regular focus, prayer and reflection to constantly remind myself to maintain an eternal perspective on life and death.
God, help me to have your perspective and to see things with your eyes rather than my own. Keep me from getting caught up in the daily worries and mess and let me see the bigger picture through knowing you more.
Written by Justin Ware