And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don't want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.(1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope
1 Thessalonians 4:13
English Standard Version
I have watched friends,family and many in our pastorates as they have walked through the valley of the shadow of death. I recall close friends of ours as they rushed to the bedside of their young daughter after a car accident, only to find she was already in the lap of Jesus. The next morning they were in worship, casting all their cares on God.
I remember standing by the bedside of another dear friend after she had delivered her newborn who went to be with Jesus shortly after her birth. Mom's response? I know God has allowed this for a reason and He will use it for His glory so I may help someone who has walked this path, and she has.
I could go on for many paragraphs regarding those who have taught me how to grieve, how to lean hard on God, but until I experienced the death of my dear dad two years ago did God really teach me.
I've learned He is truly sovereign at the same time holding me close to Himself, giving me peace that I cannot explain.
I've learned to hold things lightly in this world, holding tightly to the Hand of God through His Word and prayer.
I've learned to treasure Jesus, loving him more and more everyday rather than wondering if all the bills will be paid(still working on this one!), or what I will wear the next day.
I've learned God loves me, His way is best even when the path is dark and I am confused and hurting.
I no longer cry "not fair" You took my dad too soon, it was His plan.
I am more anxious for those who don't know my Savior to simply know Him and the eternal life he offers.
"In our deepest loss, we need more than friendship and a listening ear--though they are wonderful. We need more than mere arguments--though in some cases good arguments stabilize us. We need the reality of God himself--God as he has spectacularly and definitively disclosed himself to us in the person of his Son. He will require of us that we focus our attention on him, both for this life and the one to come."
Scandalous, page 130
This is my hope
...the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.