"Hope Personified"

July 6, 2011

“Hope Personified”

Blessings Folk!

Yesterday, at an early morning prayer gathering, Michael walked in.

I inquired as to the latest status of his mother, Jane.

He said that she was “much better off than we are.”

I responded “good”...then it occurred to me what was being said.

Jane had gone to glory a couple of hours earlier.

How could Michael respond this way?

Was he being “flippant”?

Was he unconcerned and unmoved?

Was he stressed, tired, grieving...simply unaware?

Michael...and his sister Susan... was/is a living manifestation of that which we see in the Word. They have Hope. They are not as the world is - without hope.

1 Thessalonians 4
 13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

“Them which are asleep” refers to believers that have died physically.
We are told to “sorrow not” as those who have no hope.

We have hope.
What is the Hope?
What is the source of comfort?

1 Thessalonians 4
 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Our hope is the resurrected Jesus.
Our hope is that we will be with Him.
Our hope is that “them also which sleep in Jesus” are with God and will be brought with God - we will be with them and Him.
Our hope is the Lord’s return.

We are commanded to comfort one another with these words.

Jesus understands.
He wept.

John 11
35 Jesus wept.

The encounter of Jesus with Lazarus is amazing...we will look at it some other time.
For now, note that Jesus wept, not necessarily because of Lazarus’ death. Jesus knew what Father was instructing Him to do.

John 11
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.

Jesus was moved by the weeping.
He understands.

Of course, we grieve our temporary separation from Jane, yet we grieve not as those who have hope.

We grieve with joy - the joy that passes understanding.
We grieve, filled with the peace of God.

Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

We pray with/for the family.
We rejoice in a life well-lived before the Lord.
We rest in this truth…

Psalm 116
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Michael knows this.
Susan knows this.

Do you?