"Brother Lew" made an excellent point in the comments section of my last post. He writes: "I have heard it said that 'Life is hard and then you die,' but that is not what the Bible says and if the Holy Spirit would make such an expression I think it might be more like ' Life is hard and then you live.'" That is wonderfully true for the Christian.
Life is hard. There is no doubt about that. It is hard on all the fallen sons and daughters of Adam because of the curse of God which rests on us because of our share in the great rebellion against him. Christians and non-Christians alike know the sting of living in a fallen world. In spite of all we do we can never escape the sentence of death which claims us more and more the longer we live in this world. As decreed by God, death will one day sweep us away from all that we hold dear and bring us to stand before him. Whether we believe it does not change the reality. The Bible is absolutely clear at this point.
But life is hard for Christians in particular, as I wrote last time. We have our own unique struggles as the children of God as we try to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and live in a world that is really not our home. As the old song says: "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through, my treasure is laid up somewhere beyond the blue; the angels beckon me from heaven's open door, and I can't feel at home in this world anymore." We are pilgims heading toward the Celestial City. On the way we have many enemies to face and obstacles to overcome. But we press on! Afterall, as yet another hymn puts is: "We are marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion, we're marching upward to Zion, the beautiful city of God!"
The promise of God is that when we arrive all our struggles and trials will be over. There we will enjoy the presence of our God in a way that transcends anything we have known in this life. We will see the Savior face to face. We will be reunited with loved ones and other believers who have gone before us. What a day it will be. Truly, it will be the time when we really start to live. When all the tears of this life are forgotten and we walk with God forever in unbroken fellowship. There is no hope like the Christian hope. It is pure not carnal. It is real not illusory. It is eternal not temporary. It is glorious not ho-hum. Yes, the best is yet to come! By far! This glorious reality is something that the Bible testifies to again and again from beginning to end. Here is one example for us to meditate on this Lord's Day.
"I consider that our present suffering are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:18-21).