Treat Your Trials Right by Thinking of Death

We’ve been talking about Trials and keeping an eternal focus on Trials.  I’ve blogged about this in a couple of posts listed here:

I think I’m going to end this series with 8 total applications, so we should jump right into #2.

Think about death

What?  So the correct perspective when I trial comes our way to to think of the worst case scenario?  Death?  ”Matt, I know you’re a morbid person, but I think you’re taking this one too far, don’t you?”

Not at all.  I know this is a tough one and I know it’s easy to let this become a means for depression, so you have to keep a right perspective as you contemplate death.

Ps 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

If we ignore the possibility of death, we will not savor the times that we have.  Seeing the possibility of death while in a trial, means that we examine every aspect of life and make sure that the time here is spent doing the most important thing.  And what is that?  Showing the Gospel to those around us.

Let’s take a quick look at a passage that is likely very familiar to us:

Philippians 2:19-26

Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

In his commentary on this passage, R. Kent Hughes makes a great point about this whole concept.

in today’s age…“for to me to live is” to fornicate, to accumulate, to dine well.  Or on a more prosaic level, “for to me to live is” to golf, to work, to garden, to travel, to watch TV, to ski – to shop ’til I drop.  Of course, if this be our life, then death is the loss of everything.

Trials are glorious reminder that to live is only and should only be a means of exclaiming the Gospel.  With death on our minds, we will be reminded of our treasure.  What a great opportunity to eliminate a love for the world.  What a great chance to remember what we’re here for and what we gain in death.   As trials come our way, we must think of death so that we can regain the correct perspective of this world.  Trials truly are a blessed gift.

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