Specifically, we have focused on how the Bible views challenges and trials. Jesus stated that in this world we would have tribulation. He also stated that we should be of good cheer because he had overcome the world. James encourages us to consider it a most joyful thing to come into various trials. We noted it was the trying of our faith that was the joyful part. We reviewed that faith comes by hearing God’s word. The only true testing of faith is when one of God’s promises are being challenged. We deduced that it doesn’t take any faith at all for bad things happen to us. Faith is only exerted when trying to be delivered from something. This post is regarding what we believe about death. Does our view match God’s view? Let’s find out.
Psalm 116:15 15 Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His saints.
This is a wonderful scripture. The church has many honorable views regarding death. Those of us who have accepted Jesus into our hearts and exchanged our sins for His Righteousness, have great peace regarding death. Like Paul, we believe to be absent from this body will put us directly into God’s presence. 2 Cor. 5:6, 8 We will be with Jesus forever!
We also know that Jesus defeated the devil who once had the power of death and Jesus declares that he now holds the keys of hell and death. Hallelujah! Hebrews 2:14 & Revelation 1:18 The natural course of thinking then becomes that any death that happens is at God’s direction and we just have to sum it up that “it was a persons time to leave this earth” and there is nothing to be done about it. Correct? Let’s view a few more scriptures.
For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!” Ezek 18:32
Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Ezek 33:11
For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 1 Cor 15:25-26
Wow! God takes no pleasure in ANYONE’s death and not even the death of the wicked. In fact, God calls death His enemy. In my book, “I was Framed! Signed God”
, we took an in depth look at God’s true heart for humanity. We discussed that either God was schizophrenic or there were other factors that needed to be researched for the causes of death and sorrow. But clearly we can see that God doesn’t like death at all!
The question then becomes, why does he allow or cause so much death? Unfortunately we do not have enough time in this blog to cover this adequately. It is my goal to share God’s heart towards the things that cause death and hopefully we will believe it. I believe it will be a turning point in your faith and relationship with God. I believe that you will trust his promises knowing his intent. Let’s review a verse that shows God’s end game for all of humanity.
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4
Isn’t that an amazing Scripture? When God comes to live with mankind there will be no more, death, sorrow, crying or pain. That is exactly the heart cry of every person on the planet and God wants to fulfill this dream. I would also like to point out that this is God’s mission now!
If you look at the life of Jesus, you would have to say that it was his mission to stop everything that would cause death, sorrow, crying and pain. I challenge you to read the Gospels and put a check mark beside every case where Jesus did exactly that. In the book of Acts we find the source of these evil things.
Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Jesus went about healing all who were oppressed by the devil! ALL. Even after Christ’s resurrection, Paul explains that we have to deal with the devils’ schemes. Jesus calls the devil a thief. What does a thief do? They trespass. In my prior post, Paul explained that the armor and weapons were given to us to defeat the devil. Ephesians 6:10-18
You will notice in the gospels that Jesus, stopped a deadly storm, healed multitudes who were sick with all kinds of diseases time and again, he fed the hungry, and loved on the disenfranchised and those who were prominent.
You will also notice in the book of Acts that his disciples continued on this same mission. The one thing I wanted to point out specifically is that there are sometimes “untimely deaths” AND Jesus and his disciples did something about it. We really shouldn’t just ignore this fact. We must ponder this. Ask yourself, do you believe their are deaths that occur that God did not want to happen? Look at what Jesus commanded his disciples to do?
Matthew 10:5-85 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
They used their faith to stop death. Amazing. They were being obedient to Jesus to stop death. Ponder that for a minute, Again, they didn’t heal everyone that died but they did heal some. The key for us is that we have to know which ones to pray for. Who will let us know? You guessed the correct answer. The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth.
I don’t believe God wants us to wait until a death occurs to use our faith. How do I know this? Jesus and the disciples attacked the main root cause of death, which is sickness. They healed multitudes just like Jesus. This short circuits death. Isn’t that a wonderful feeling? Guess what, you can short circuit death as well. Look at this exciting scripture: Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. John 14:12
There is only one thing that can hold us back.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief. Mark 6:4-7
Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:58
Jesus tells us that any believer can do what Jesus did and the disciples proved it! The question is do you believe that promise?! Your belief is key. Unbelief stopped Jesus from doing miracles. It is the ONLY thing that can stop God’s power from flowing to any person in need. As you can see, you belief is crucial. Ask yourself, does your faith get stronger knowing that God wants to end death, sorrow, crying and pain? It should. It means that he will give you wisdom how to get out of these situations.
In conclusion, we have determined that not all challenges we face are God’s will. We have found the other sources of our opposition can be other people’s decisions and the devil. We have reviewed many examples where God gave his wisdom and used his power to deliver people from troubles. This coincides with our key verse in Psalm 91. Not only will God be with us in trouble, he will also deliver us. Believe it and expect it.
I hope you are encouraged. I am working on my next post “Partnering with God”. Here is a great math equation. Holy Spirit direction + God’s Promise + Your belief = Answered Prayer.