For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. – Philippians 1:23
Death is one of the grim realities we all have to deal with at some point in this life – of a friend or family member or a colleague. It is important that we get a proper understanding of what God’s Word says about our response to it as believers, hence today’s devotional.
It is always a painful experience when we lose a loved one to death because of the void their departure creates and also because of the fact that we will never see them again on this side of eternity. However, the bible gives us no permission to excessively mourn as though we have lost them without the hope of seeing them again if they were believers. Actually, we have “GAINED” them to life; shortly to be seen again, better than we have ever seen them.
Our hope as believers transcends the grave, for death is not a dead-end for us but a doorway to glorious living, it is the beginning of true life. Death is the last chapter of time but the first chapter of eternity. It is like the horizon at the sea that looks like the end of the world, but in actual sense, it marks the beginning of another endless beginning. For a Christian, death is gain, because it is the end of all his weaknesses and miseries, but the perfection of all his comforts and the fulfillment of all his hopes.
In our text, Paul tells us that living in the flesh is an opportunity for some people to eat the fruit of his life and ministry, but he calls it LABOR! That is, this life is full of troubles, toiling, struggles, and sweats. But he carefully and deliberately refers to death as a ‘departure’ (and of course, when there is a departure, there must be an arrival). Men naturally dread death but Paul desired it and said it was far better. Why? Because he realized that it was an opportunity to be with Jesus…ABSENT from the body, PRESENT with the Lord!
So, if you are in grief because of the death of your loved one who died in the Lord, I want you to be encouraged today that they are in a far better place. A place prepared for them by Jesus Himself, to their taste and beyond their wildest imagination.
God’s will is for us to be satisfied with a long life and fulfill the number of our days on earth. Also, we can never taste death, because Jesus tasted death for us. We only sleep in the Lord after our time here on earth has ended. Knowing this, we should strive to always preach this message of hope to unbelievers; so they don’t die in their hopelessness
+ Pray for the comfort of the Holy Spirit to mend your broken heart that was caused by grief.
+ Pray that you will fulfill the number of your days on earth; and you will fulfill God’s purpose for your life.
+ Pray against untimely death in your life and family.