The church at Thessalonica was confused about some fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. They were frightened that they had missed Christ’s second coming and they were concerned about loved ones that had preceded them in death. So Paul wrote this letter to remind them of truth and offer comfort in their emotional distress:
And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus. I Thessalonians 4:13-14 MSG
This verse is quoted often to believers who have lost a loved one. At first, gently, sweetly–as an invitation to remember that God is in control, that He has a plan, that the grave is not victorious and that burying the body is not the end.
And, in the early days and weeks after the funeral, it IS comforting–I chanted it to myself like a mantra and it drew my heart from the brink of despair.
But at some point, this verse begins to feel like a rebuke–the well-meaning friend says, “Don’t you know, that Jesus followers don’t grieve like those who have no hope!”
And I turn, dumbfounded, to the person saying this, and wonder, “Have you buried a child?”
Read the rest here: Grieving With Hope