1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
There is a great difference between the believer’s and the unbeliever’s funeral. The unbeliever’s is one destitute of hope — there is no hope in the resurrection, no hope in the life to come. There is only sorrow and despair and misery and wailing and lamentation.
On the other hand, the word hope in the New Testament is almost always connected to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For just as God raised Jesus Christ from the dead (which is the foundation of Christianity) so too will he raise the believer. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
There was once a time when running a sub-4-minute mile was thought impossible, but after Roger Bannister accomplished the feat in 1954, it has been done several thousand more times. The same can be said of the resurrection of Jesus Christ — God broke of shackles of death by raising Jesus from the dead, and he will do the same for every believer. And that is why the believer’s funeral is filled with hope and joy, not sorrow and despair.