She was only 13 years old when she was tragically murdered in the rotunda of her high school on a very ordinary school day. Our church and community were struck by her horrific death and we grieved for the loss of one so young.

In the midst of the grief, the community and country watched. How would our church and our youth group, of whom she was a vibrant member, deal with her senseless murder? They were shocked!

We did not grieve as those who had no hope because we knew exactly where she was ― with her Heavenly Father who she loved and served.

A year has passed since that tragic day, and as we looked back, we all had to agree that our hope had not disappointed. The journey had been difficult and the loss painful, but we had reminded each other that the last words that she and a friend had been writing out was from a popular Christian song by Phil Whickman called This is Amazing Grace. In it he sings in an upbeat tune how Jesus laid down His life to set us free.

Maybe your family has suffered loss and grieves for those gone too soon. Be encouraged today, as we look forward to celebrating the advent of the coming Christ, that we have a hope that does not disappoint. In the midst of tragedy, and in its aftermath, we can still rejoice in that hope.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that this life on earth is only temporary and that we have the hope of spending all of eternity with you. Help me to today to remember to live my life in light of that truth regardless of the circumstances I am facing. Amen.

Go Deeper ― Have you lost sight of the hope that is within you? Take some time today to thank God for His Holy Spirit who was given to you and who is at work in your life, and for Jesus, the source of our hope.

Read Further — Many stories in the Bible are about people whose faced tragedy and hardship but found hope. Read Crushed in Spirit

Tags: Hope Romans 5
Photo Credit: Jakob Owens