Grieving with Hope
From the beginning of our journey, we’ve had a burden to help other believers deal biblically with the issue of Heaven. We realized that we needed to really dig into the Word on this subject and shed some light on what the Bible says about eternity and how to grieve with hope. Teaching others what God has revealed to us about Heaven is one of the ways we honor Josiah, and it also helps us to find purpose in this journey.
Once you understand God’s truth, once you go after the Lord in the midst of your sorrow, then you can grieve with hope. Once you understand more about where our loved ones are, what they are doing (praying, worshiping, and serving), how alive they are, and the fact that they are present and near, then you can have peace and grieve with hope.
Grieving with hope also includes understanding and feeling God’s sweetness. You don’t father or mother a child for nineteen years and then hear God say, “Oh, now you can’t talk to him. You no longer have a relationship with him until you see him face-to-face in Heaven.” You aren’t a husband or a wife or an aunt or a grandparent and suddenly God’s character changes from sweetness to stinginess in not allowing you to feel that special closeness. We still talk to Josiah, and it’s going to be so great when we’re together again.
Jesus said in John 11:26 that believers “shall never die,” and then He asked Martha (soon after her brother, Lazarus, passed away), “Do you believe this?” Remember, when you believe that, everything changes. It is impossible for death to prevail in His presence! Everyone who clings to Him and is united with Him in faith will live with Him eternally. Christians will pass through an incident called physical death, but they cannot die eternally because they have put their trust in the One who is life. That’s our hope and our reality.
It appears from her answer that Martha didn’t fully grasp the total meaning of what Jesus had said, but she did understand who Jesus was. She said, “I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world” (v. 27). This means that Jesus was standing with her in the presence of death, knowing with her the pain and terror, but offering life that can turn sorrow and separation into joy and wonder. This is also our hope and our reality. Do we grieve? Yes we do, and in the beginning it was a moment-by-moment struggle.
Early in this journey the Lord gave my wife, Sarah, this verse: “If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father’” (John 14:28). If we unconditionally love our family and friends who have gone to Heaven, we by God’s grace should one day arrive at a place where we can actually be happy for them. They are alive. It is far better. And they are with Jesus. This allows us to grieve with hope.
Want to know more about Josiah’s House? Visit our website for more details on how you can be a part bringing hope and Jesus to young boys in the Dominican Republic.