On July 26th, 2017, my precious wife Margaret passed away at the age of 63. She had heroically battled the autoimmune disease sarcoidosis for almost thirty years, and despite decades of pain and disability, demonstrated a contagious joy throughout her lifetime.
How was this joy possible, even when she received the news this past April that she had a terminal heart condition? The answer to that question is simple, yet eternally profound: she knew the love of Jesus in this life, and the promise of Jesus for eternal life. You see for her, hope wasn’t to be found in the circumstances of this earth. Hope was found in looking beyond what she could see, to the One who died for our sins on a bloody cross, and rose three days later triumphantly demonstrating to the world that He was in fact God the Son. She knew the Lord’s love as expressed in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
So as the day of her death approached, her anticipation of seeing her Savior grew. As her physical strength deteriorated, she knew she “would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8), and that to “be with Christ. . . that is far better” (Philippians 1:23).
My great comfort is that she is now in the very presence of God, free from pain, immersed in the splendor and glory of heaven. Do you have this assurance, as you think about the moment your life ends? If not, I would plead with you (and Margaret would as well) to come to Jesus. Put your total trust in Him and Him alone to forgive you of your sins and to give you the gift of eternal life with him. Prayerfully consider these words of Jesus: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
May the amazing love of God become more and more real to you in the days ahead.