To Die Is Gain
Some die quick and painless deaths but some suffer seemingly endless pain before they die. We can*t know all of the reasons for pain but we can know that God loves us and He is in charge of all that befalls us. Many are used by the Lord because of great suffering.
Romans 5:3: And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
James 1:3: Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
2 Corinthians 12:7: And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
It can be comforting to us if we are aware that blessings have come along with our suffering. Something that has encouraged me is that three or four times when I have been hospitalized I have had the opportunity to share the gospel with some nurses and patients who have received Christ. It seems I am a more fruitful witness when I am flat on my back not knowing whether this illness or the next one will be the one that takes me home to Heaven. Many others have suffered illness that brought them to nursing homes where I had the opportunity to share the gospel with them. One young man was crushed between a pickup truck and a wall. He had a broken thigh, a broken hip, a broken pelvis and internal injuries. He suffered great pain. After he had received Jesus he told me that in spite of his pain, it was the best day of his life and that he knew the accident happened so that he would be in that rehab facility, hear the gospel and be saved. The emotional distress that I suffered in the months before I was saved was far worse than any physical pain I have suffered before or since. Whether we suffer or not, we believers have some wonderful things to look forward to.
Philippians 1:21-24: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
Luke 23:43: And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Revelation 21:4: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
1 Corinthians 15:53-54: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Romans 8:21-23: Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Romans 8:18: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.