“Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.’ ” – Revelation 14:13
Deuteronomy 34:5-7 states, And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He [the Lord] buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.
When Moses came to the end of his life the Scripture states that “his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.” It was his appointed time to die. He did not die due to illness or even old age. His body and mind were still strong. It was just his God-appointed time. What is the lesson in this? When a man or woman walks with God, his very life is in God’s hands. Nothing can happen to him or her outside of God’s will, not even death. His/her life is on the providential path that God has planned for him/her. What peace there is in knowing this.
Moreover, when a man or woman dies in the Lord, the Bible declares that he/she is blessed (Revelation 14:13). Believers need not fear death. Death will be a blessing in that they will be ushered into Paradise where they will enter a time of eternal rest. No more pain. No more darkness. No more death! Are you ready? Are you in Christ? Are you walking with God? Then rejoice, because one day, you will be truly blessed as you enter His rest forever.
Finally, death is very painful for those who lose loved ones. The Bible refers to this pain as the sting of death. And that sting is deep and painful and can last the rest of one’s life. However, the Bible declares that this sting is different for believers than for non-believers. Why? One word—HOPE! Believers have hope because God has given us eternal life and promised a great reunion one day with loved ones who died in Christ, some way too young. Paul explains this in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.
Not only do we have this hope as believers, but we have One to cling to during our time left here in this sinful, dark world. Hebrews 6:19-20 states, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.” When life becomes too difficult for you, cling to this anchor. Cling to Jesus. He will comfort you. He will take hold of your hand and lead you. In fact, He will lift you up and carry you. We have hope! Never lose sight of this. One day, we, who are in Christ, shall gather at the river that flows by the throne of God and this world, with all of its death and pain, will fade from our memory. Robert Lowery penned the words to the wonderful hymn, Shall We Gather at the River?
Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?
Yes, we’ll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.
On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will talk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day.
Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown.
At the smiling of the river,
Mirror of the Savior’s face,
Saints, whom death will never sever,
Lift their songs of saving grace.
Soon we’ll reach the silver river,
Soon our pilgrimage will cease;
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace.