“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”(Philippians 1:21-24)(NIV).
God has given us these bodies, yet we find that living in them is difficult. We suffer in pain, sometimes finding it difficult to get through each day. Sometimes we just want to give up.
There are parallels in our lives to what the Apostle Paul experienced. In Philippians, Paul spoke of his suffering and oppression in prison. It would have been easy for him to give up, but instead, he acknowledged that Christ was his life, and his whole purpose for living. Paul knew that when he departed this life, a glorious eternity awaited, for he would see Christ and live with Him forever.
Paul did not give up, but he acknowledged his need to go on living despite his suffering. He had been called to advance the kingdom of God, to help others in their faith walk with Christ.
So here we are, living in our bodies, in pain. But when we start each new day recognizing that Christ is the Lord of our life, He gives us reason to continue on. Even with our painful circumstances, we have a role to play for God. We find that we can advance the Gospel. We pray for others and share our faith with them. We console others who are also suffering. We spread Christ’s love with our attitudes and words of love and praise to our King.
Our glorious eternity is coming, but until then, we will endure in our bodies, keeping Christ at the center point of our lives, knowing we are here to serve Him for a while longer.
“Dear God, we serve You with the bodies we have as we live for You. We look forward to our eternity when we will see Your face and suffer no more. Amen.”
Doris Farley experiences chronic pain that began after an accident. Her circumstances have led to an unexpected, life-changing spiritual journey that has renewed her commitment to our Lord. She thanks God for reaching her and prays that He will reach you also, through the words He gives her to write for you.