Saturday, March 25, 2006

Grieving hearts and hopeful souls

The souls of believers are “made perfect in holiness” and enter into the worship that redeemed souls experience in heaven (Heb. 12:22-24).

In times of sudden grief and the loss of a loved one “in Christ” nothing can compare to this beautiful thought. Whatever the tragic circumstances that may have occurred here “below,” in heaven, all is at peace and rest. The transition from here to there is immediate, a bit like falling asleep here and waking up there the Bible seems to say. That’s why death is called “gain” (Phil. 1:21), because after death, the believer is closer to Jesus than ever before. True, the body must wait awhile—until the morning of the resurrection. That’s why we as Christians show the body such respect. Then, as Paul says, the soul will be “clothed” again (2 Cor.5:1-4).

Jesus wanted his closest disciples to know this before he died. “Let not your hearts be troubled…” he said to them in the Upper Rom (John 14:1). Jesus is concerned to minister to troubled hearts. He knows how easily we fall into despair. And thus he talked about “many mansions” in heaven. It was meant to be a word of solace to grieving hearts who were about to lose a loved one. He went to prepare a place for his won that where he is, there they will be also one day.

Thou art gone up before us, Lord,
To make for us a place,
That we may be where now
Thou art,And look upon God’s face.

Lift up our hearts, lift up our minds:

Let Thy dear grace be giv’n;
That, while we wander here below,
Our treasure be in Heav’n.

That where Thou art, at God’s right hand,

Our hope, our love, may be:
Dwell Thou in us, that we may dwell
Forevermore in Thee.

Cecil F. Alexander

No comments: