January 16, 2017

Two funerals this week

Saturday’s funeral started at 1:30. We were there more than four hours. It was a celebration of life, but also a sorrow. The man who had gone to be with Jesus had been a pastor, but also a remarkable husband, father, and friend. He will be missed. His family and friends wept and will weep in their sorrow.

Tuesday’s funeral will honor another beloved man whose public service and winning personality built a great respect in our community. There will be tears there also, and tears in the weeks to come. He will also be missed.

A few important verses touch my heart as I think about death and funerals. How great are the promises of God and how timely He is in bringing them to His people when we need to read them . . .

“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17)
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

Another passage also impresses me. There isn’t space here for all of 2 Corinthians 4, but it is a reminder that the trials and sorrows of this life are nothing compared to the wonders that are to come. I personalize this section that blesses me today . . . 

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in my heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But I have this treasure in a jar of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to me. I am afflicted . . . but not destroyed . . . carrying in my body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in my body . . . given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in my mortal flesh . . . all for the sake of others . . . as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So I do not lose heart. Though my outer self is wasting away, my inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for me an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as I look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:1–18)

In this life on this earth, I weep over sin, loss, affliction, but after death and into eternity there will be no more tears. I could be deeply sorrowful over the regrets of life, but God will not allow any tears to dim my vision of His Son! He will remove all pain and grief and my reward will be perfectly satisfying. I will see Jesus!

Heaven is being with Christ and becoming like Him, loving Him perfectly, serving Him forever, worshiping Him without sin, enjoying Him and all that He is — and all that He is will be mine. No weeping, no sorrow, only eternal joy.

Jesus, what a comfort that even though some will not be there and no one deserves to be there, there will be a great multitude which no man can number. All who are washed in Your blood and clothed in Your righteousness will be there. All who trust You alone as Lord and Savior will be there — and none will ever be sad or shed tears again. You hugged me today!

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