United Church of God, ia
Portland Oregon/The Dalles Oregon

Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Words of Encouragement

Paul noted that God revealed details about what happens after death to encourage and comfort us, to give us hope in times of personal loss, that we not "sorrow as others who have no hope" (1 Thessalonians 4:13). God’s promise of eternal life is certain; we can safely trust in it as long as we are faithful to Him. Writing to a fellow minister, Paul spoke of his confidence in the "hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began" (Titus 1:2).

When a family member or friend dies, there is no denying the sense of loneliness and emptiness and the feeling of unfinished business—that we should have said or done more. Gaining a more-complete understanding of death and life can help us face our own mortality. We find courage, comfort and hope by viewing life in a larger context. We realize that, just as our present existence is temporary, so is death. A time is coming when we will reunite with those who have died and renew our relationship.

Although adjusting to the loss and loneliness caused by death takes time, we need to remember that even this most extreme experience does not separate us or our loved ones from God’s plan or His love:

"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).

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