"God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit." – 2 Cor 5:5 (NLT)
Did you ever experience fear of death or dying? If you did, you are not alone, even David, the King of Israel and the man who after God’s own heart, sometimes was afraid of dying (Psalm 55:4). Or did you ever worry about end-of-life issues? For example, some people fear that they will be a burden to others in their final years or the sufferings that will be experienced by their loved ones, such as spouses, children and parents after they’re gone.
In Paul the Apostle’s 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians, he reminded the Corinthian Christians and us modern Christians, that our earthly life – that is our body to be precise – is like a tent (Tabernacle). We move from one goal to another to fulfill God’s mission. And when the mission is accomplished, this tent will be destroyed. It is not our home. Our home is in the afterlife in heaven (v.1). So that all the wealth, all the physical appearances, and all material assets are mortal. On the other hand, the suffering, groaning, and burdens are mortal as well. Sufferings, etc., are consequences of living in the mortal tent.
In 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, Paul was not seeking death, but he was contented to accept it. He wasn’t worried nor disturbed by it. What could be the cause of his confidence? Because Paul wrote in v.5, God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit – NLT. God works us out. He makes us fit and prepares us by a course of training until the faith grows stronger. God sent His Spirit to us in advance, to guide us and to help us.
According to my experience, God has trained me in some steps:
1. Setting my priorities in order (Exodus 20:3, NLT).
“You must not have any other god but me”
Sometimes in my life, I was worried about being separated from my child and husband for the rest of my life and was anxious because of those troubling thoughts. During those times that God was training me, He led me away from my loved ones, for a season. During my contemplation, I learned to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10) and He is in control. I also learned to let everyone and everything I loved in God’s hand. Since then, I have learned to be careful not to let anyone in my life become more important or be set at a priority higher than my relationship with God.
2. Making me holy and whole as an image of God (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, MSG)
“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, makes you holy and whole, puts you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keeps you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!”
Only the broken can be made whole. There is no mistake, scar, flaw, discrepancy, failure, or sin that is too much for Him to handle or make Him stay away from me. He accepted me in all of my brokenness. God also used my pain, suffering, and brokenness to draw me close to Him. One step at a time, God helped me to find and patch the missing puzzle pieces of my soul. In order that I learned to stop struggling with being accepted by others and started feeling confident in who I am. The Holy Spirit leads me to be holy because God is holy. God had put me together – my spirit, soul, and body. I am whole and holy and fit for the coming of Jesus Christ.
3. Making me content (Philippians 4:11-13, NIV)
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the secret to being content in any and every situation. He gives me the strength to do all things. Being content is the first and foremost step to help us in accepting our mortality. What am I supposed to do to feel contented? By identifying my values in life, and it is found in prioritizing my relationship with God in life (see step 1). Therefore, I know my driving force is to please Him and glorify Him in whatever I do and in all situations (see step 2).
Dear brothers and sisters,
Be confident in facing whatever happens in this earthly life, even if it will lead us to our own death. "For God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit" – 2 Corinthians 5:5 NLT.
God bless you.