“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:56–58 (NIV)
My life could end before I finish writing this blog posting today. I could die as somebody else reads these words. At any moment, at any time, my life could be over.
It’s so easy to think about each day as if it were just any other routine day. Each day I have a list of things to do. I focus on work, my family, responsibilities, thinking about my own desires and the things that I need. But I must confess that I rarely think about my life as a vapor. I am a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
I know that God wants me (and commands me) to spend my days rejoicing in Him and to not be anxious about anything. But truthfully, I spend way too much time being overly consumed by problems and stress. I worry about my job, my family, my health, my friends, my life in general. When my thoughts are focused on things that distract me from rejoicing in Him, I am actually conveying that I believe my anxieties are more important to me than the command that He gives to rejoice and trust in Him. I am almost giving myself a “right” to disobey Him because of everything in the world that seems so big to me. I begin living as if God is not big enough, strong enough, or loving enough to take care of me.
Even though I live every day with a routine, there really is nothing “routine” about it. God is allowing my lungs to breathe and my heart to beat, yet I rarely think about this miracle He is working in me every single day. He is constantly orchestrating and working together all things for my good and for His glory, yet I frequently get so caught up in the chaos of life that I fail to see it. And even more so, it is not even so much what He is doing in my brief life today, it is what He has done even before I was alive. God loved me and was thinking of me before I was even born!
But perhaps the most amazing miracle that God has done is what Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 15. These are words that are so comforting, so amazing, so unbelievably rich and full of life! They jump off the page and grab hold of my heart and make me want to run into the streets jumping for joy!
Jesus Christ has given the victory over death. He has provided the comfort to all the stress of my life. He has called me into fellowship with Him and has given me every reason to rejoice in Him, no matter what life throws at me.
Paul’s words remind me that life and death, things present and things to come, all belong to Him and as a result of what He has done, they also belong to me! Life is mine and I get to enjoy life. Even death is mine, for the One who got the victory over death, has defeated it! He has made me a conqueror through Him because of His great and awesome and infinite, merciful grace and power. Because of what He has done, I have the ability and the freedom to come before His throne of grace and merciful love, and I could give myself fully to His work.
Lord, you hold all the days of my life in your hand. Even though my physical life on this earth may end today, I am safe in your love because Your love is everlasting. You are not only leading me though this life, but you will also lead me through death and I take such tremendous comfort in knowing that the day I am no longer physically in this world, I will be with you for eternity.
Lord, I confess to you that I am human and my heart is wayward and often distracted and I am often afraid of the things of this world. But that same heart that fears is the same heart that thanks you and praises you for the change you will accomplish in me all in the twinkling of an eye. I will put my hand in your nail-pierced hand that was given for me and I ask you to lead me and guide me to the other side.
Where O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? It is defeated and I am in love with a Savior that bears the mark of His love for me.
O God how I love you so!