Finding Hope Even in the Grief of Losing Life

Services

Sunday - 930 Morning Worship - 1115 Sunday School | Wednesday - 7PM Prayer Meeting & Bible Study

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

01/23/2022

0

Facing the loss of one’s life can be painful. On the night before His death, Jesus sobbed “loud cries and tears” in the garden and “offered up prayers and supplications… to Him who was able to save Him from death” (Heb 5:7; cf. Matt 26:36–46). 

Losing a loved one is painful as well. Sometimes the news of someone’s passing can be too much to bear. When the sinful Phinehas died and the ark of the covenant was captured, upon hearing the news, his father Eli fell over from grief, broke his neck, and died. When the pregnant widow of Phinehas heard all of the above, she went early into labor and died along the way (1 Sam 4:12–22). 

Jesus once said, “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world” (John 16:21). But the widow of Phinehas had sorrow upon sorrow and never found that joy. In her dying moments, she named her newborn son Ichabod, meaning “The glory has departed” (1 Sam 4:21). 

Just as this poor woman’s earthly glories vanished quickly from her eyes and left her unable to even “answer or pay attention” (1 Sam 4:20), sometimes we, too, feel stunned and shocked into silence. What gives us hope in these times?

As we saw, Jesus hoped in “Him who was able to save Him from death” (Heb 5:7). His hope was in His resurrection. His cries and tears and grief found hope in God above. 

Likewise, knowing that Jesus was raised, we also hope in resurrection (1 Cor 15:19–22). And before that (if it be before Christ comes again), our hope is this—to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, something better than earth, something unspeakably good (2 Cor 5:8; 12:1–4; Phil 1:21–23). 

But as “there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15), we must find ourselves just by faith in Christ alone (Rom 1:17; 3:28). This faith means believing in Christ as the One who died for our sins, the One whose righteousness is to us, and the One who is coming again to judge us one day. Otherwise, without this faith, being called from the dead will be only to return to death again (Rev 20:11–15). That is no hope at all. 

And finally, for our loved ones, if they knew Christ, they are “with Him” right now (1 Thess 4:14), and Christ will reunite us with them as we join Him in the air—encouraging words to hear (1 Thess 4:13–18). If they did not know Him, we weep with hope only for ourselves, knowing at least that God is sovereign, kind, and wise and stoops to wipe our tears one day (Rev 21:4). 

All quotes ESV. Articles by Pastor Huffstutler are at davidhuffstutler.com.

Facing the loss of one’s life can be painful. On the night before His death, Jesus sobbed “loud cries and tears” in the garden and “offered up prayers and supplications… to Him who was able to save Him from death” (Heb 5:7; cf. Matt 26:36–46). 

Losing a loved one is painful as well. Sometimes the news of someone’s passing can be too much to bear. When the sinful Phinehas died and the ark of the covenant was captured, upon hearing the news, his father Eli fell over from grief, broke his neck, and died. When the pregnant widow of Phinehas heard all of the above, she went early into labor and died along the way (1 Sam 4:12–22). 

Jesus once said, “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world” (John 16:21). But the widow of Phinehas had sorrow upon sorrow and never found that joy. In her dying moments, she named her newborn son Ichabod, meaning “The glory has departed” (1 Sam 4:21). 

Just as this poor woman’s earthly glories vanished quickly from her eyes and left her unable to even “answer or pay attention” (1 Sam 4:20), sometimes we, too, feel stunned and shocked into silence. What gives us hope in these times?

As we saw, Jesus hoped in “Him who was able to save Him from death” (Heb 5:7). His hope was in His resurrection. His cries and tears and grief found hope in God above. 

Likewise, knowing that Jesus was raised, we also hope in resurrection (1 Cor 15:19–22). And before that (if it be before Christ comes again), our hope is this—to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, something better than earth, something unspeakably good (2 Cor 5:8; 12:1–4; Phil 1:21–23). 

But as “there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15), we must find ourselves just by faith in Christ alone (Rom 1:17; 3:28). This faith means believing in Christ as the One who died for our sins, the One whose righteousness is to us, and the One who is coming again to judge us one day. Otherwise, without this faith, being called from the dead will be only to return to death again (Rev 20:11–15). That is no hope at all. 

And finally, for our loved ones, if they knew Christ, they are “with Him” right now (1 Thess 4:14), and Christ will reunite us with them as we join Him in the air—encouraging words to hear (1 Thess 4:13–18). If they did not know Him, we weep with hope only for ourselves, knowing at least that God is sovereign, kind, and wise and stoops to wipe our tears one day (Rev 21:4). 

All quotes ESV. Articles by Pastor Huffstutler are at davidhuffstutler.com.

cancel save