Today’s Scripture: But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Often when I am preaching, I will scan the audience, looking for heads that are starting to nod and eyes that are growing heavy. If I see that, I will usually do something to counteract it. Sometimes I will use a humorous story to try to generate some laughter. Other times, raising my voice to loudly bring home a point works best.

This is not the kind of sleep that our passage is talking about today. It is talking about the moment when you close your eyes for the last time – death. I have done funerals for people who did not know the Lord, and there was such wailing and crying from the family members. It is always a horrible thing to witness.

However, I have also done many funerals for people who knew for certain that they would be with the Lord and those are a wonderful occasion. Even though losing a loved one brings sadness, when that person knows the Lord as their personal Savior, it allows us to deal with the loss differently. We do not have to sorrow because we will see our fellow believers in Heaven one day soon.

Those who do not know the Lord do not have any hope. That is the difference. We can mourn a loss, but we have a confident expectation of Heaven – that is the hope that today’s verse speaks of. Do you have this hope, or do you live in fear of death? By placing your trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, you can have this matter settled once and for all.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.