Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "We Praise Thee O God"1 (Lyrics)
The other week, my husband and I attended the funeral service of his dear departed sister, who was also a mother, a sister-in-law, an aunt, and a grandmother. Her life affected two generations, and each generation mourned her differently.
Before she passed, it was very hard to watch her suffer from the excruciating pain that she was experiencing, especially when there is nothing that we or anyone else could do. Well-meaning friends upheld her in prayer and asked God to relieve her pain, or if it was God's will, to take her home to be with her Lord.
Our observations were similar to the experience of many others. Yet when that final hour comes, we tend to want to hold on to our loved ones and not let them go "home".
Christians believe that only those who trust in the name of Jesus are given entrance into heaven, and that God is the final judge of whom He receives. Strangely, there is a general belief in secular society that everyone goes to "a better place" when they die. Perhaps they picked this up from funerals and memorial services in Christian churches. Despite this, when we ask someone who is not yet a Christian whether they would go to heaven if they died, the answer usually is, "I don't know." So often, there is much weeping and despair at the funerals of non-Christians, whereas those for Christians are times of celebration and hope.
It is always hard for the ones who are left behind to let their loved ones go. But for those who depart believing in the victory of Jesus over death, it is a blessing and the beginning of a new journey — an everlasting journey to a new home — a place that Jesus has prepared for those who trust Him.
John 14:1-3 – Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. (NLT)
Revelation 21:4 – He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. (NASB)
Prayer: Creator of all that we see and do not yet see, be with us through our struggles, anger, and confusion. Grant us the peace that goes beyond human understanding, and help us to trust in Your promises of everlasting life and that one day, we will see our loved ones again. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.