1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NLT)
13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. 15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.

The apostle Paul writes to the Thessalonians regarding the hope of the resurrection. There may be times we grieve the loss of someone close to us; but even in our grief we have the hope of being rejoined with them. Christ died and was raised back to life to give us an example of what we have to look forward to. The hope we have in Christ is a comfort we can depend upon, an encouragement to our faith so that we can be an encouragement to others.

The reverend Billy Graham witnessed death along his journey of being an evangelist. Often he comforted others who lost loved ones. When his wife Ruth Graham died, Billy Graham said, “No matter how prepared you think you are for the death of a loved one, it still comes as a shock, and it still hurts very deeply.” Graham realized a special part of him had been taken away when Ruth died, but it gave him a new compassion for those who mourn the loss of a loved one. . "Over the years I've seen people lose a spouse and then withdraw and lose interest in life," he says, "and I believe we need to resist that." But it has become clear that a man who spent his life teaching people how to live is now in a position to show people how to die, with hope for an eternal kingdom that is no longer a theological abstraction to him. Heaven is where Ruth is. "Someday soon I will join her," he says. "Most of all, I take comfort in the hope we can have of eternal life in Heaven because of Christ's death and resurrection for us. I've preached this message almost all my life, and it means more to me now than ever before." Isn’t it good to know we can have eternal life through Jesus Christ and be reunited with those we have loved.