I enjoy keeping up with the news and today there is a lot to keep up with! But a steady dose of this world’s news can quickly leave you negative and depressed which is why we need an even steadier dose of the good news !! Too much of the world’s versions of news will leave you panicky and from a scriptural standpoint this makes perfect sense as the Bible states Satan is the “god of this world” and that he has blinded the minds of unbelievers (2 Cor.4:4). It also says he is the “prince of the power of the air” which is understandable then that so much that is called news and goes out over the airwaves is outright deception some of which is no doubt designed to produce panic in you.
For some years now I have seen many people in hospice care. They know their time is likely short for this life, but what a joy to give them the hope in the good news that life here is not intended to be all there is thanks to a gracious God Who purchased eternal life on that cross two millenia ago, but what about you? Death, we know (as much as we try to not think about it), is a possibility each day and this is especially a greater thought on many people’s minds now. for us and our loved ones. The reality is we are all in a place very much like a hospice patient, our time is always ready to depart just as Jesus said, “. . .your time is always ready.” (Jn.7:6).
What keeps me from panicking is being prepared ! Many years ago I accepted Christ as my Savior, I agreed with him that I indeed am a sinner and so unworthy to go to heaven and I asked HIm to save my soul rather than trying to work my way in to heaven. A verse I am fond of sharing with hospice patients is from the book of JOY (Philippians) and in it Paul believes he is about to be martyred for his faith and he presents a dilemma he is struggling with. It is not that he is panicked about the prospect of dying (far from it !). He is wavering, if given the choice, about continuing to live in this life or to die and go to heaven. Mind you, he had already been there once as he records for us in 2 Corinthians 12 where God permitted this brief visit being “caught up to the third heaven” but not allowed to articulate exactly to us what he experienced.
What he writes to us in Philippians is “golden” ! He says, “For I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to be with Christ, for that is FAR BETTER !!!” (1:23). I have often explained this to our church also that in the English it’s two words: “far better” yet in the Greek, three: “MUCH MORE BETTER!!!!!!!!!” Paul was full of enthusiasm and excitement about his next stage of life and why shouldn’t he have been, he’d seen it !!! You see, as a born again believer in Christ, the prospect of death is not something that should keep us in a panicked state because what comes next is absolutely AWESOME !!! God doesn’t want you to be constantly in dread of death, He has fixed a cure and we celebrate that this week, its why its called GOOD Friday !! Have you yet to accept HIS cure? It must be taken by faith and once it has you will see the evidences from Him that you have been truly saved ! But if you have already been inoculated from this fear of death and the power of the evil one, be an example of calm to others at this time, get on the phone and check in on a neighbor or loved one and minister to them, share with them in these turbulent times this message of peace this very special Easter week !!!