Dear church family, just two weeks ago I had the opportunity to share with you from God’s Word about the hope we have through the work of Christ. My desire through that sermon was to encourage us to ground our hope in the certainty of the resurrection of Christ and to exhort us to turn to that as the source of an inexpressible joy – yes, joy even in the face of grief and all kinds of trials (1 Peter 1:6). For indeed, joy rooted in circumstances will prove to be disappointing yet joy rooted in Christ will prove to be satisfying.
Two weeks have past and little did I know how important that message was for me.
My uncle passed away last night after fighting a number of physical illnesses for awhile. He was a godly man who loved his family, his church, and most of all, his God. He brought my father to church when they were young boys in school, and they both grew up to serve the Lord at different capacities. Because of his ongoing battle against his sickness, his passing was not too shocking. Yet, I don’t think anything; no amount of warning or emotional preparation, can prepare a person to face the death of a loved one.
However, despite the jarring news early this morning, my heart was soon filled with a sense of immense joy. You see, because of Christ’s death on the cross, death has lost its sting. Because of Christ’s resurrection, our future resurrection and restoration is sealed and guaranteed. Because of Christ, all who belong to Him can say with confidence that ‘to die is gain’ (Philippians 1:21). What a God we worship!
So if you are able, please pray for my family. Both my dad and I are flying back to Malaysia immediately to be with our extended family. Pray for a safe trip and pray that we will be able to witness to our non-believing family members. Pray that we will have space to grieve well and pray also that we will find the time to celebrate the good life that my uncle lived.
‘Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.’ (1 Peter 1:3-4)