The Shadow Of Death. . .No Fear

I think it is safe to say that everyone at some time or other has thought about their own death. I know I have. When we think about death we do so with a limited knowledge of what awaits us on the other side of that veil. I’ve been reading a book titled, “Imagine Heaven” and in it, people, who’ve had near death experiences and came back to life, share their experiences.

After reading about their experiences I had a sense of relief that death was no longer something I should be afraid of because of what awaits me after. Look at it more closely through God’s eyes and what He did to give us a sense of hope about death.

What God did was to give us Jesus Christ. The reason Christ became human was to die. As preincarnate God, he could not die for sinners. But united to flesh and blood, he could. His aim was to die. Therefore, he had to be born human.

In dying, Christ defanged the devil. How? By covering all our sin (Hebrews 10:12). This means that Satan has no legitimate grounds to accuse us before God. “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33). On what grounds does he justify? Through the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:14; Romans 5:9).

Satan’s ultimate weapon against us is our own sin. If the death of Jesus takes it away, the chief weapon the devil has is taken out of his hand. In that sense he is rendered powerless.

So we are free from the fear of death. God has justified us. There is only future grace in front of us and a heaven that is beyond description.

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Suffering That Crushes Our Faith

The faith of some is broken instead of built up by suffering. Jesus knew this and described it in the parable of the four soils. Some people who hear the Word receive it at first with gladness, but then suffering makes them fall away.

Our affliction does not always make our faith stronger. Sometimes it crushes our faith.

When this happens it is a call for us to endure suffering with firm faith in future grace, so that our faith might grow stronger and not be proved vain (1 Corinthians 15:2). Knowing God’s design or purpose in suffering is one of the main means of our growing through suffering.

If you think your suffering is pointless, or that God is not in control, or that he is whimsical or cruel, then your suffering will drive you from God, instead of driving you from everything but God — as it should.

So it is crucial that faith in God’s grace includes the faith that He gives grace through suffering.