“For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his glory” (Philippians 3:20, 21, ASV).
In the past two months I have lost four friends to death, two in one day. I grieve, but not as one who has no hope. I know I shall see them again. And the older I get, the more I realize why Paul said “But I am in a strait betwixt the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ; for it is very far better” (Philippians 1:23).
How is it better? First, I will have a new body. This body “is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). It will be a heavenly body.
Second, it is better because “God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more (Revelation 21:4).
Third, it is better because the throne of God and of the Lamb are in heaven. God shall dwell with us, and we shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with us and be our God (Revelation 21:3). We shall be manifested with Christ in glory and share in His glory.
Why wouldn’t anyone wish to be with God forever where there will be no death, no pain, no suffering, and no crying? Why wouldn’t we, like Paul, have the desire to depart and be with Christ? We know that for those who have gone on before us, it is our loss and their gain.
Hymn: “Heaven Holds All to Me”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we long for the time we will be with You for eternity. When it is time for our departure from this world, may those we leave behind rejoice that we are with You. In Jesus’s name. Amen.
Donna Wittlif is the author of Christian fiction for young adults and adults. Her new book Finding Her Heart is about a young woman who is heartbreakingly lonely. Is it because she has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome? See how God helps her find true love.