We read in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18— "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."
What a comfort these words are! As we think of our loved ones who have gone to sleep in Jesus, we can have such hope and peace because we know that one day soon we will be reunited and will never have to say goodbye again! What a wonderful, glorious promise this is!
In the meantime, however, we can be at peace, knowing that for this present time, our loved ones are just asleep. No longer are they suffering, no longer are they worried, no longer do they have any struggles.
In 1 Corinthians 15:51-55, Paul sets out very clearly how one day, those who die in Christ, as well as those who are living in Him when Jesus comes, will receive the gift of immortality. We read: "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory.' 'O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?'"
Let us never give up hope. For we have the sure word of God that is filled with these very precious promises! What a wonderful thought that our dear ones—young and old—who have died in Jesus, will one day very soon be given a new, immortal life and we will be forever with them and the Lord. May these words give us all hope and courage as we wait for that great resurrection day.