O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
Most phobias can be reduced to a fear of man or death. Death looms over many as the ultimate fear-object. The fact that death is imminent is clearly established in Scripture: "It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
But Christians need not fear death. Jesus removed death as a legitimate fear-object by taking away its power when He died for our sins. Jesus Himself said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die" (John 11:25, 26). Even though we will eventually die physically, we will continue to live spiritually.
Every child of God is spiritually alive, and even physical death cannot separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38). Paul says, "For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21). Why? When we physically die, we will receive a resurrected body and be far better off than we are today. Try putting something else into Paul's formula; for instance, "For me to live is success." Then to die would be what? Loss! "For me to live is a good physical body." Again, to die would be loss.
I often ask people, "What is the worst thing that could happen to you?" "Well, I could die," they answer. To which I respond, "Then you have nothing to fear, since the Bible says death may be the best thing that could happen to you!" The ultimate value is not physical life but spiritual life. If our life is hidden in Christ, then we won't suffer loss when we physically die. We can only gain. We can say confidently with Paul, "O death where is your sting?" The person who is free from the fear of death is free to live today.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You have freed me to live fully in the here and now. I leave the time of my departure in Your hands.
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