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The Men of Iron Minute

by Justin Watkins | Chief Generosity Mentor

Strong Faith Grieves with Hope 

Strong faith means being real about our emotions and honest about our weaknesses. This might sound like an oxymoron, but Scripture is filled with realities that seem in tension with one another. One prevailing message for faith during suffering is the invitation to grieve with hope. 

A group of believers in the city of Thessalonica were concerned about what happens after they died, specifically regarding people they had already lost (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Paul begins his response with a key phrase, “I don’t want you to be misinformed and mourn like the world, who has no hope…”  

Notice Paul does not tell them to suck it up and stop crying over the deaths of friends and family. Rather, he reminds them that unlike the world, faith allows us to authentically lament loss while being hopeful of the promise of Jesus. 

 

Strong faith grieves with hope. 

 

Jesus demonstrates this truth when his good friend Lazarus dies in John 11. There is a lot to unpack in this story, but I want to make note of three important observations:

  1. Jesus welcomes the emotions and questions Mary and Martha bring to Him in their grief
  2. Jesus demonstrates His love for Lazarus and others by grieving
  3. Jesus points to the hope of life in Him even as we suffer

I encourage you to read the entire story and consider what Jesus might be saying to you as you deal with suffering. Don’t settle for meaningless platitudes about your suffering or assume pain means you are weak or unfaithful.

 

Jesus models a strong faith that can authentically mourn,

while remaining hopeful of the promised life only found in Him.  

 

 

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