Tonight I spent some time examining what the Bible has the say about Heaven by reading this article:
It took me around an hour to finish it because I kept being overcome by emotions of fear and doubt. I cried out to the Lord weeping, asking that He would help me, that he would give me understanding and wisdom about my eternity. When I finally got to the bottom of the article, I encountered the last paragraph:
“Knowing that death ushers us directly into the realities of either heaven or hell should make us look up to Christ as our refuge and salvation and should make us strive, as Paul, to “have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to him” (2 Corinthians 5:9). Even for believers, the prospect of death is sometimes a fearful thing because death is enshrouded in great mystery as the realm to which we have never gone. But we may take courage and lay aside our fears in the confidence that we have a God who time after time says to his people, “Do not be afraid” (Joshua 11:6; Isaiah 44:8; Matthew 14:27; 17:7; 28:10;Revelation 1:17). God wants His people to be comforted in the face of death: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you” (Isaiah 43:1-2).” (Matt Perman)
I burst into tears after reading this.
For the past few months I have been feeling extremely fearful of death. Thinking about dying and eternity took me to a dark place of doubt, fear, and uncertainty. I wondered, “Lord! Why am I feeling this way? Why am I doubting You, why do I have such horrible fear?” I had never feared dying. But lately, fear plagued me whenever I would think about this. I felt alone. I questioned, how can I be a Christian if I fear eternity? It doesn’t make sense for me to fear this!
For months I have been praying that the Lord would give me peace and understanding- that I would no longer fear dying and eternity.
After reading this article tonight, specifically the last paragraph, I feel renewed. My vicious fears were confronted with beautiful truths.
I have a God who tells me not to fear!
He tells me “Don’t be afraid!” How many times have I read this? How many times have I heard this? Thank you Lord, for making your commands click- For telling me, “Don’t be afraid Emily! I am a good and faithful Father. Trust in me- I am with you.”
This passage from Isaiah 43 truly hit home. Recently, the Lord has been whispering truths to me from Isaiah 43 and so to have this be the passage Matt chose to display God’s goodness and promises couldn’t have resonated with me more.
Two weeks ago I memorized Isaiah 43:2 and I will often recite it to myself when I am feeling anxious, fearful or worried. It is amazing to see now that this verse applies to my fear of dying too. It’s a promise to me that when I am dying, the Lord will be with me and that He won’t leave me!
My fear about death centers around the idea of me not knowing what is going to happen and being alone. But I’ve realized, there are truths to both of those fears.
- Fear of uncertainty: I do have certainty. I have the certainty that the Lord will never leave me or forsake me. That He carries me in His arms like a shepherd carries his sheep. I have the promise that the Lord is faithful and that He delights in me. He will make good on all His promises, and with that, I know that what the Bible says is true. The Lord has never left me. He is for me and not against me. All that He does is for my good and His glory.
- Fear that I will be alone: 2 Thes 1:7 talks about believers being WITH Christ! We are literally going to be in His presence. There will be no separation of time between me physically dying and going to Heaven. When I die I will immediately be taken into the presence of Christ. I will be with my savior, the one who delights in me, the one who loved me so much that He took on flesh and died for me, the one who looks at me with compassion, the one who carries me, the one who comforts me and never leaves me. I will be with Him and He will intercede for me in front of the Father. He is my friend, my helper, my savior. There will be no fear when I am with Christ.
Prayer: Lord, thank you! Thank you God for showing me truth tonight. Thank you Lord, for not giving up on me despite my foolishness and complete and total lack of faith. Thank you Lord for loving me unconditionally. Thank you Lord for revealing to me your character, which shouts “faithful and loving!” Lord, I pray that I would not forget your promises to me- that you are with me, through all things! And that you tell me to not be afraid because you have got me! You know what is best for me! -And what could be better than being with YOU Lord? You know what is best, and that is for me to be with you in Heaven. So I ask Lord, that you would truly cement these promises and truths in my head. Help me to run to you and your promises when I feel fear creeping in. Help me Lord to never forget the gravity of your statement in Isaiah 43:2- That you are with me. Thank you Father. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.