He gave us life and we are His children. Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us “run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1b)
It is a wonderful world, and the journey is filled with trials and tribulations. But there is love and joy and blessings we could never earn. David said, “O, taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8). Second Samuel tells us, “God is my strength and power, and he makes my way perfect.” He reminds us to “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” A Christian will always go the second mile. Jesus said, “If a soldier demands you to carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.” (Matthew 5:41). Did you not know the Bible tells us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”? (Philippians 4:13). This is God’s gift to us. We should claim and practice these gifts. Life on earth is wonderful, but God has something far better than this world can ever give us.
David asked this of God, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12). The Bible tells us that if we know the truth, the truth shall make us free.
Joshua taught us to be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Don’t forget, he knows our thoughts before we speak. We are never out of his sight. The human family is nearest to God. David said, “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man, that you visit him? For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and you have crowned him with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:4,5).
John tells us, “We are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” Paul taught us that love never fails. Proverbs tells us “Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones.”
If we follow the words of the Bible we shall arrive at the pearly gates. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) None of us is perfect, but Matthew reminds us, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Luke tells us, “The hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Revelation 2:10 gives us comfort when He tells us, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” What can be better than that?
Always look to the sunny side of life, God will bring you through. He does not wipe all our tears away on earth. I always remember that life on earth has been wonderful, but God has something better for us than anything in this world of trials and tribulations. Keep believing the best and the best will soon be yours.
I preached in a beautiful church in Massachusetts 50 years ago. A saintly English woman and her husband were faithful members. Her husband died on a cold winter’s night; she was left alone. Later she was in a nursing home. I went to see her regularly. One day she said to me, “I am ready to go, but I am willing to stay if God has something on earth I can do.”
I feel the same way. I have many loved ones and friends on the other side, and when the death angel knocks at my door, be assured he will find a sincere welcome. I have many loved ones and friends who have outrun me to the father’s house. I will be among friends and loved ones when I leave the world of trials and tribulations.
Robert V. Ozment is a retired United Methodist minister.