Faith Is Not always Easy!
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 NLT)
“We Will Be Transformed"
I have several friends who graduated from high school in 1966 like I did. Most of this group will hit the Big 70 their next birthday. I will turn 70 my next birthday and I’m looking forward to it. I remember, back in the day, when I considered 70 as “old”, and I guess it still is! Research shows that the life expectancy for the average American man fell two-tenths of a year — from 76.5 to 76.3. For women, it dropped one-tenth — from 81.3 to 81.2 years.
For me, a lot of water has gone under the bridge: I married my high school sweetheart, served 42 years as a pastor before having to retire when I got cancer. I had quite a journey with God through cancer and have experienced His grace, mercy, and healing. This experience has allowed many opportunities for me to encourage and share with others during their difficult days. I have a great family and love living next door to my favorite and only daughter, Michelle and family. It’s been a “good ride” and I am thankful for God’s blessings.
When you do the “math”, I understand that I don’t have much time left. But I have an assurance that when I breathe my last breath I will be ushered into the care of Jesus who suffered and died for me, taking upon Himself the penalty for “my sins”. I am so glad I trusted Jesus as my Savior and Lord in 1965. My favorite verse in the Bible is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
I was standing at the window a few minutes ago watching the rain. I told Linda, “I just love our home. All the beauty of the trees, deer, birds, squirrels, raccoons, an occasional wild hog or coyote. I can’t even imagine what the beauty of heaven is going to be like.” Then I remembered what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
I like what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15, “Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you." Toward the end of that chapter Paul said, “Let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
God will resurrect our bodies and re-unite them with our soul/spirit (1 Corinthians 15:35-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
I look forward to that day. The world cannot offer this hope nor take away our hope. I’m glad I belong to Him!