Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Fighting Death

Death is evil, and the fight against death is a noble fight. The Christian, however, knows that the fight is largely over. Jesus Christ conquered death on the cross. Although we still experience physical death, the cross has taken away the sting of death for those who believe. The fight that remains for the Christian is the fight of faith.

 Of course, we naturally avoid physical death. It is good for Christians to maintain their health, seek medical treatment when needed, and do what they can to have a long and productive life. But we must keep in mind that such goals are secondary. Our destiny is the next life, and the basis of that is our ongoing relationship with God, which is rooted in faith. Before we can have a relationship with God, we must believe that He exists, that He loves us, that He has conquered sin and death through Jesus Christ, and that we can trust Him to do what is best for us, even when it is not what we think would be best. This includes the point at which we leave this life, whether it comes early or late, quickly or slowly, easily or with difficulty.

 My mother is going through cancer treatment right now. It is going well, and I'm very thankful for that. I am praying that she will have a complete recovery and stay with us for many more years. I know others who are fighting cancer and other life-threatening conditions, and I also pray for their recovery. But I have another prayer because recovery is not guaranteed, and all of us will die one day. I pray that even for those of us who do not recover, that they and their loved ones will keep trusting God. My fear is that if recovery does not come after a long, valiant, prayer-filled fight, people will think that God does not care, or that He let them down. This is the crucial point, the ultimate test that we face. It is difficult to trust God at those times because the rewards of heaven and His ultimate plan are invisible to us. We have to believe that it will ultimately turn out good, or we risk falling into bitterness.

 Jesus Christ has obtained eternal life for all who will receive it from Him. We can have an experience of eternal life in this world, but its complete fulfillment is not until later. We walk by faith, not by sight, and although God gives us many evidences and helps to our faith, He does not give us all of the answers. We may face times when it seems like we don't have any answers, but we must remain confident that God is good. In the end we will see that it was for the best.

 "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Posted via email from Greg's posterous

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