Friday, July 18, 2008

Death, Where Is Your Victory?


"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones." (Psalms 116:15). I've been thinking about death a lot lately. Now that may sound morbid and not in keeping with the verse on my masthead, but hear me out and maybe you'll change your mind. I've observed a lot of people lately who knew their lives on this earth were severely numbered, and I've been impressed with the grace which we they lived their final days. None of them had a death wish. On the contrary, they had full lives with families they loved and wanted to stay with. But they also had faith, and that made all the difference. One man, Scott, used his final months to teach joyous Bible studies on heaven. When told how courageous he was, he disagreed. He was, he said, just semi-literate. He could read - he read the Bible and he chose to believe it. I thought about that a lot. I think he's right. When a fireman runs in to a burning building, or a soldier goes in to a war zone, that's courage. But if you told your child to get in the car and after a long, hot, tiring car ride he would arrive at Disney World, would he be courageous to get in the car? Our Heavenly Father is telling us, take my hand and I'll take you to Heaven! Taking a hold of His hand is not courage - it's Faith! Everything is different with faith.

"For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21) One woman finished her missions training still not sure where she was meant to go. She prayed and agonized over her decision. Then she was diagnosed with stage IV cancer - and she was amused that God had already chosen the hospital and then hospice as her mission grounds. Because when you have faith in God, you believe what He tells you and you put your trust in Him. You live for Him while you are here and you trust Him to lead you home to your reward.

Of course, death wasn't the original plan, but Jesus won the victory for us with His death, burial and resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15: 54b, 55...57) - "Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?...but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps you think it would be easier to believe if someone would come back from heaven and tell you about it? But Someone already has! His name is Jesus Christ. He came from heaven and He told us all about it when He lived among us in the flesh. When He left, He made a promise. "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also...I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." (John 14: 1-3; 6). Like Scott, and so many others before me, I choose to believe it. My prayer is to live for Him here and live forever with Him there.

13 comments:

Cherdecor said...

This would be a good article to publish in a magazine. The example of the woman who was trained for missions but was diagnosed with cancer is a story that we should all keep in mind when our plans are thwarted. (so to speak) I loved that story.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I've always loved that passage from John. Yet I don't really think about death or heaven that much. I have all I can handle to serve God as best I can each day, so I just sort of leave the end to him. I think what I look forward to the most is finally having direct communication with God, seeing his face, and being able to worship his glory in person. I guess that's not really much different from what you're saying in this post, is it?

Oh, I answered you question over on my blog. You guessed right. I do write textbooks and other educational materials.

Sew Anyway said...

I read this post just before it was time for me to make dinner. Depending on what I am making, it seems like running a race of sorts. All I can think about is timing everything just so it all comes out right on time. Isn't that what God promises, that He will make our lives work out and end just as He has timed it? Well, that is what I was thinking about while I was making out "Breakfast Dinner". I am going to start a list of the work that I don't want to leave "undone" in this life and then work for His glory. Thank you for this thought provoking, encouraging post.

~Kathy

Gumbo Lily said...

I really like this. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Jody

A Woman Who is: said...

Nice to meet you Rosezilla. Thanks for stopping by. I must say your header caught my attention. That is what I call one of my special life scriptures. I love the title "All about Whatever”! I will have to remember that one.
Come by any time.

steviewren said...

Rosezilla, thank you for visiting my blog. I have been browsing here a bit. You have a nice way with words.

I like your comparison of faith and courage. You explained it dead on. (oops, no pun intended)

Please visit me again!

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Beautiful verses. Our faith makes all the difference! Your prayer is the best one.

CIELO said...

Life in Chirst changes darkness into sunshine...

Keep your faith alive!

cielo

Wanda said...

Oh Rosezilla ~~ what a meaningful and insightful Sunday post.

Love the last paragraph ~~~ Yes somebody has...and his name is Jesus Christ!!

Amen and Amen!

Poetry & Lotions said...

Thank you so much for this post. I am new to blogging and am just meandering through people's blogs, clicking on their favorites, and I came upon yours.

What a poignant reminder this is to us all. We're in His hands, and He'll place us where we're supposed to be placed.

I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts.

Thank you so much!

Sara said...

Hi Rosezilla, thank you for visiting and commenting. I am enjoying visiting your blog also...and this post is especially effective! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I join you in that prayer!

thedailydish said...

WOW. A beautiful post, from a beautiful writer.

jenniferw said...

What a wonderful truth. Those verses in I Corinthians 15 are some of my most favorite ones. I heard one of the greatest sermons ever, on those verses, many years ago and I have never forgotten it.

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