The Proper View of Death and Trouble
By Beverly Brunner
Our Lord said, "Watch," "be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Mt. 24:42-44). There is not one person who has ever lived or who is living now that can predict the time of their death or departure from this earthly body, nor the time or the season when Jesus will come again. The flesh never wants to leave this earth because it is rooted and grounded in it. But I confess with all the dear and precious brethren who have gone on before and, as well, to those whom I may meet while sojourning in this hostile land, that I am a stranger and a pilgrim. My citizenship is in Heaven, and when my Lord calls me, I shall be ready to go.
As we walk down the path that leads to Heaven we will have sorrow, but we "sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him" (I Th. 4:13-14).
I am not of those who are under the delusion that the body and the spirit lie in the grave until Christ returns. Our life, that is, the life we now have in Christ, does not stop at the grave. Death is but a door that opens into the very Presence of God. What a blessing this is for all those whose "life is hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3). What great peace and joy this brings within our hearts to know that in God's time we shall be reunited with all those who have died in Christ.
I am also reminded of what Paul tells us in Acts 14:22: ". . . that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.' I've been asked several times throughout the years by different people if I ever ask God why? Why must this certain circumstance be or why must I go through this or that or if I have ever asked "why me, Lord?' My reply was, I never ask God why but I do ask Him for strength to go through whatever comes my way and that my faith fail not, and He has never failed me. " . . . As thy days, so shall thy strength be' (Deut. 33:25). The Lord will never fail those who put their trust in Him, NEVER! Jesus is our Example and we are to follow in His steps (I Pet. 2:21). In Luke 10:21 it says, "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth . . .' "In that hour,' in our everyday experiences whatever we are called upon to endure, we in our spirit can rejoice and give thanks unto the Father. "In that hour.'
"I like to think on the Scriptures that tell us of the time when all that distracts, when all tribulations and trials shall come to an end, that one day God is going to "wipe away all tears from our eyes;" and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Rev. 21:4). But until that time comes we shall continue to walk worthy of the Lord giving Him our thanks and praise. I thank God for His faithfulness and mercy and for His immeasurable "love wherewith He loved us' and gave His only begotten Son that through Him we might be saved, saved from our sins, from our flesh, from Satan, and from all our enemies. We have so much to be thankful for. Thank you Father."