Grief is a powerful sign to us that life was not meant to be this way. That we were created for something more. The apostle Paul explains why the grieving can have hope. [Audio | Notes]
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 | Grief with hope
v13 So that you do not grieve like the rest of human kind
– how we grieve
– grief with hope
v14-15 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again
– History and promise
– a death and resurrection for us.
v16-17 And so we will be with the Lord forever
– the force of Jesus’ return
– these last days
– being together with the Lord.
v18 Therefore comfort one another
For further thought
Q: In your experience, what are the marks of grief? What things do we grieve? What does grief without hope look like?
Q: What is the evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus as historical events? (Some books on this are: The case for Christ/Easter – Lee Strobel; Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis; Who moved the stone? – Frank Morison)
Q: Paul describes how when the King comes with his people to claim his Kingdom it will not be possible to ignore just as it is not possible to predict when it will occur (5:1,2; Matthew 24:3-14). For those who have been Christians for some time, what examples of false prophecy predicting the Lord’s return have you seen come and go? Why do these false prophecies gain traction amongst Christians? How may they damage faith?
Q: When faced with someone in deep grief we may speak to them of the hope of Jesus death and resurrection in a way that feels like a platitude or in a way designed to protect us from the impact of their strong emotions. Paul says Christians are to grieve, but to grieve with hope. How can we comfort those who are in grief with the words Paul has given us here?