By: Emily Rose Massey
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." - Philippians 1:21 NIV
A year and a half ago, my brother-in-law died in a tragic drowning accident. He was only twenty-five years old and had only been married for a little over a year. I watched my husband, his parents, and my sister-in-law experience the deepest pain imaginable – pain so difficult that it physically hurt. Through this great loss, we’ve learned to walk through the pain with Jesus, trusting that He will continue to heal our broken hearts and believing we will see our precious brother again in heaven someday.
As Christians, we are not ones who grieve without hope because, ultimately, our hope is set in eternity. Because of the cross, we do not have to taste death because our spirit lives on and we live forever in eternity.
It is the cross that accomplished the forgiveness of sin and made a way for us to have peace with the Father, which is the core of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Believing this gospel sets our hope toward the life that is to come. This place is not our home.
The Bible is full of truth about eternity and wisdom on how we should live our lives while we are still here on earth. Jesus doesn’t promise that we will escape pain here on earth, but He does promise that He will be with us always (Matthew 28:20).
The Apostle Paul shows us in Philippians 1:21 how we should view our life here on earth:
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (NIV).
While we are here, we know our mission is to live to glorify Jesus and tell others about Him by preaching the glorious good news to all those God places in our path. When we face great pain and loss of loved ones or are facing our own mortality because of a terminal illness, we can find hope and rejoice that heaven is our reward.
The honest question is: do you focus too much on this life? Do you believe it is better here on earth? Are you concerned about your legacy you will leave? When we die in Christ we live forever. Yes, there is pain. Yes, there is great sorrow and many questions as to why now, Lord? We have lost loved ones what felt like way too soon. We’ve had a lot of ‘whys’ just because we are human, and humans have a very difficult time processing death. But the Bible is very clear about the glorious hope we have that awaits us as believers in Christ and the truth of God's Word is what gave us great peace in the midst of our pain. Our faith is forever set on our sovereign Lord, knowing the cross has the final word in the end.
Death doesn't have the victory because in Christ, we are given eternity with Him! Death doesn't lose its sting on our human hearts, but our spirits should be so full of joy at the thought of being in the presence of Jesus where there is no more suffering. What great gain! Take some time and pray this prayer if you are struggling to fix your eyes on eternity: Father, help me to see this life with eternal lenses and embrace the promises of everlasting life with Christ. Help me through times of pain and suffering as I hold onto the hope I can find in Jesus. I will continue to hide my life in Christ until I take my last breath here on this earth or until Jesus returns in His glory.
Emily Massey began writing short stories and poetry as a little girl, entered the blogging world in her early 20s, and published her first book in 2015. She enjoys being a stay-at-home momma while still being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Believing she has been forgiven much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power, especially by sharing truth found in God’s written word. If you would like to connect with Emily, you can visit www.wewouldratherhavejesus.com.
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