“The death of His faithful ones is valuable in the Lord’s sight” (Psalm 116:15, HCSB).
We don’t like to think about death and dying and so we really don’t give it much thought…until we have to!
Death is an uncomfortable subject to discuss, and when we talk about it, we commonly use terms like “tragic” or “untimely,” which gives death an undeserved negative connotation.
To us, death is the Grim Reaper!
I think it’s fair to say that most of us aren’t really looking for explanations about death until we are personally confronted by it through the death of a loved one.
But the grief we suffer at the death of a loved one creates a unique opportunity for us to develop some real perspectives and convictions about death and dying.
In fact, grief can turn you into an amateur theologian!
If grief does its proper work in you, you will emerge from your grief by starting to look at death more like God looks at it.
And then you will develop a more accurate view of life!
We suppose that there’s nothing good about death except as a release from chronic pain. But from God’s perspective there is something good about death. There’s a benefit to death!
To God, death is a good thing! Dead people are valuable to God!
Sounds shocking, doesn’t it? But there is an explanation.
We tend to view death in existential terms as an experience that brings an abrupt end to our physical life. But this verse says that God gives value to death. God gives death meaning and significance.
God loves His people. If you are one of His faithful ones, He wants more than anything for you to be with Him.
And the ultimate way to be in His presence is to die, for your immortal soul to escape this mortal body. “We are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord…and we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).
Just like you want to be close to the ones you love and want them close to you, so does God. God values the death of His faithful ones because upon their death they enter into His very presence.
Death is our graduation from Earth to Heaven!
But God has also devised a way for us to have fellowship with Him in this world before we die.
His Spirit dwells in us! When we place our trust in God, He places His Spirit in us as a guarantee of our eternal life with Him (2 Corinthians 1:22). Our body becomes the dwelling place of His Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:9). It’s like having a little heaven here on earth!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that people should commit suicide to be with God. Life and death are in God’s hands. God determines the time and place for your entry into and your exit from this life.
But the Bible says your life in this world is like a gust of wind, a fading flower. Your real significance is found with God in eternity. So you should live your life in this world as preparation for eternity with God.
The Apostle Paul had it right. He explained it like this: “For me, living is Christ and dying is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Death has a wonderful benefit. The end of your life in this world is the beginning of your life in the presence of God!
- The Good Thing About Death – Psalm 116:15 (stevesbiblemeditations.com)
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