No matter what, whether sooner or later, predictably or abruptly, you will die. It is inevitable, and it is reliable. Life is a path that we each walk, and while every path differs, every path ends.
We are mostly free to use this life in whatever way we may decide. Of course, most of us invest our lives in the things we believe are worthwhile. We exercise. We obtain education. We seek pleasure and satisfaction. We spend time with family and we serve industries we believe will provide for ourselves and our loved ones.
Nevertheless, life will end, and given the assurance that we each may have of our own death, it is wise to be prepared for that day.
Life After Death
With nails hammered through his hands and gasps of air in his lungs, Christ said to the man hung beside him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Lk 23:43)
This is the claim of God. Not that you and I may be merely saved from the sufferings of this life, but that we may be delivered to a place of union with Him. To Paradise. To the promised land. To God.
As the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans: “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.” (Rm 6:8-9) And if we are with Christ, death will no longer have dominion over us, also.
For this reason, we may have hope. This life is not all that there is, but rather there is life after death, and it is for that life that we endure this life, remaining careful neither to become so seduced by the things of this life that become distracted and pulled from the greater joy that is soon available to us in Christ, nor do we become so dejected by the pains of this life that we cannot lift our eyes to God, from whom all good help comes from.
To the comfortable:
Be careful not to become absorbed by this temporary life. Focus as best you can on the life to come, for you and for others. Do not be so anxious about your possessions or status. The praise of others is fleeting. Only that which honors God will be of any lasting value. Loosen your grip on the things of this world. Be gracious in your relationships with others, and avail yourself as much as you are able to the Holy Spirit, asking continually for His help transforming and renewing your mind. Not everything that feels good is good.
To the wearisome:
Our God has not abandoned you. Trust Him to hear your prayers. Know that He is sovereign, and that He would not permit you to endure what you are not able to endure. Rely on the Holy Spirit. Ask with a confidence in His ability to provide, and trust His provision. Matthew 11:28-29. Rest in God. Your plight may be a consequence of your sin, or sin in the world, but it is not God’s punishment upon you. He endures with you.
Praise be to God.
– your brother in Christ