“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
Death seems so final. Whether someone we love dies, or it's someone we just know at some level, our observations of the finality of it all can overwhelm us. It has always been that way, ever since death began. This finality has a way of seizing hope by the throat to choke the life out of it.
If Christians are anything, though, we are a people of hope. Our hope is built on the promises of Almighty God, who is sovereign over both life and death. He has promised resurrection to His people. All who die believing in Him, who are unified with Him, who are eternally committed to Him, will be resurrected to eternal life with Him. Those who have already gone before us are, in fact, with Him now, and we all await His timing for the resurrection.
Jesus has also promised a second coming, when He will return in power in some visible way and take us then to be with Him for all eternity. We have no idea when this will happen, but it is because we trust Him and His promises that we wait in hope.
We are a people of hope because of His promises.
Lord, You are our hope. Apart from You there is none. But because of our union with You, hope is ours and will never die. Help us to live and exhibit that hope today to our world. Amen.