Feeling Sadness and Having Hope When Another Christian Dies

Feeling Sadness and Having Hope When Another Christian Dies

Why are we sad when a friend or loved one dies, especially when the Holy Spirit reveals to us that they were a Christian? We know from scripture that for those who believe and accept Jesus as their savior, their souls are with the Lord after they die (Philippians 1:23). Their souls are in the presence of the Lord. The apostle Paul confirms it by saying in 2 Corinthians 5:8, “We really want to be away from this body and be at home with the Lord.”

Jesus also helps us to confirm what happens to believers when they die. He tells the thief next to Him on the cross when He was being crucified that because the thief believed, he will soon be with Him in paradise (Luke 23:43). How comforting and affirming to hear from Jesus what will happen to the thief after he dies. So why do we still feel sad when our beloved Christian friend or loved one dies? Our hearts hurt knowing we no longer are able to have a physical relationship with them. It can be painful since we cannot touch, talk or hug them any more even though we know we will see them again in heaven, if we are believers ourselves.

Our hope in seeing our friends or loved ones again comes from our hope in Jesus. He gives us hope because He died for those who believe in what He did and who have repented of their sins. We know what is promised to those who believe and repent. The Bible states that believers do not mourn like unbelievers do since Jesus’ death conquered the power death had over people. There is no other hope than what 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15 reminds us of:

“Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those Christians who have died so you will not be sad, as others who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and that he rose again. So, because of him, God will raise with Jesus those who have died. What we tell you now is the Lord’s own message. We who are living when the Lord comes again will not go before those who have already died.”

Please join in a prayer to our heavenly Father:

God, You are our reassurance of heaven. Heaven is a place where we and other Christians will go. We can go because of what Jesus did. He allows us to spend eternity with You. Please help us find comfort in knowing our loved ones and friends are with You. You are our only hope. We have hope in Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life and no one can come to You unless You have granted them access. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!