You’ve seen the tell-tale initials on headstones, sympathy cards, or comments made when someone dies: “R.I.P.”
Have you ever wondered about that phrase? I have, for it brings up a subtle question: is it possible a departed person might not “rest in peace?” For example, what becomes of a troubled soul who never finds peace before death and has no belief in the afterlife?
But, we are not to judge and we cannot answer this question. I apologize for writing about this morbid subject. The truth is it's hard to think about death, much less talk about it.
Being a writer, I analyze words and phrases, so “R.I.P” lit up like a neon question mark in my head. What is the real meaning behind “rest in peace” and where did the phrase originate?
A quick glance at *Wikipedia provides an answer. The phrase comes from Latin, “requiescat in pace,” historically used by certain Christian denominations to wish a departed soul “a decedent eternal rest and peace.”
I feel better knowing “R.I.P.” refers to eternal peace or rest. But, considering how often this timeworn phrase is used, how many people realize its true meaning? Eternal peace and rest come from belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His promise of salvation and eternal life.
My prayer is that all would know and believe in the promises given by the One who granted them life. If there is trouble anywhere—as there often is in life—may they know God loves them no matter what they’ve been through, and there is hope, even for the most troubled hearts.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 NIV 2011
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Through God's Word!"
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