Hope After Death

January 25, 2022

With the Corona pandemic, many of us have experienced the deaths of friends and family members. Some of these died from Corona, some from other causes that may have caught us by surprise, absorbed, as we were, in the strange and isolated world which COVID has foisted on us.

This may be a time to look at what God says in His Word about death.  I will look mostly at the Psalms, the prayer-book and hymnal of believers for the past 3,000 years.  Yes, I said 3,000 years. From King David until the band Hillsong, believers in the one true God have prayed and sung the psalms.  Think of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 12:27), the early church (Ephesians 5:19), monks and other believers though 20 Christian centuries, Charles Wesley, modern revivalists like Billy Graham, etc.

Some of us today, possibly reading one-sided commentaries, may think the psalms’ view of life after death is the gloomy, shadowy, miry, joyless place called Sheol, such as Psalm 88:13 describes: “Are your wonders made known in the darkness, or your justice in the land of oblivion?” This picture is not too different than the pagan views of Hades, guarded by the river Styx with its blue-skinned boatman Charon.

But something different began to emerge in the psalms in ancient Israel.  They began to show a different belief.  Eternal life was not the only the gloom of Sheol.  For those who loved God, eternal life would be life in God’s presence. God conquered the realm of death.

You will not abandon my soul to the nether world, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption you will show me the paths of life, fullness of joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever (Psalm 16:10-11)

God will redeem me from the power of the nether world by receiving me (Psalm 49:16)

In the end you will receive me in glory (Psalm 73:24)

In justice I shall behold your face, on waking, I shall be content in your presence (Psalm 17:15)

God draws those who love Him to be with Him in heavenly joy.  There is hope for eternal life after our earthly death – which all of us must face. John 3:16 says, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will have everlasting life.

We sometimes despair of those who have refused repeated invitations to return to church, many for reasons we can only glimpse or guess at.  We do not understand how, but God’s mercy is unfathomable.  We may judge friends or family members unfairly, but when we die, many of them may be waiting for us in heaven with higher places and in bigger mansions than ours.   

Let’s keep hopeful and joyful through these difficult times.  God is still in charge, still seated on his heavenly throne, and He cares about every one of us, in every one of our situations, and in every one of our social networks.  Give praise to Him forever!

John photo

John O'Brien has experience in a variety of mental health circumstances. Before joining the Meier Clinic in Maryland, he has worked in an inpatient behavioral health unit, a community mental health clinic, elder care case management, a shelter for homeless men, a day program for adults with special needs, and nursing homes. Since graduating from the University of Maryland School of Social Work in 2002, his work has been informed by training in Accelerated Expressive Psychodynamic Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Spiritual Direction, and specialized courses in suicidality, psychosis, and autism.

Located in our Rockville office


Take the First Step

If you're contemplating whether Meier Clinics can provide the mental health support you need, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We understand that determining whether our programs and services are the right fit for you or someone close to you can be challenging. You can start the process by filling out a simple form, and one of our empathetic and caring staff members will reach out to you. Let us help you determine if we can provide the assistance you need.

  • There is no shame in reaching out
  • We're here to help, never to judge
  • We accept insurance and have financial programs

All inquiries are completely confidential.

Related Articles

a different christmas

A Different Christmas

On a chilly December day many years ago, we took our young children to see a living nativity.  The nativity
parenting with hard backgrounds 1024x683

Parenting Children from Hard Backgrounds

Many Christian families are answering the call to care for orphans by exploring adoption from foster care. This is an
meier clinic square

Answering Your Questions: Dr. Lisa Day on Women and ADHD

A follow up to our previous show about undiagnosed ADHD in women with Dr. Lisa Day. Many of our listening
MU93ZoQPNB8 1 1

How to Respond to Tragedy

How do we as Christians support others when we hear of their loss, whether it is that of a friend
logan fisher 570072 unsplash 1

Signs of Drug Addiction

From the expanding legalization of marijuana to the ongoing headlines about the opioid crisis, drug abuse and addiction are incredibly
substance abuse 1024x683

Ending the Cycle of Abusive Relationships

Ending an abusive relationship:  I was in two abusive relationships many years ago.  I know how the cycle is of

Tough Love in Adult Relationships Part 1

The concept of tough love has been around a long time — and it’s been misunderstood and misused for just
when you cant find your space no text

When You Can’t Find Your Space

In her book Chosen for Christ*, Heather Holleman describes having dinner with a tight-knit family: At this table, besides me,
grief and covid no text

How to Cope with Grief and Loss during Covid-19

Everyone has, to some extent, experienced isolation during Covid-19 restrictions. Some are quarantined after an infection or exposure to the

Serving our First Responders

To work at the Meier Clinics was a dream of mine as I have been reading Dr. Meier’s books for
Meier Clinics