Death, Taxes and Life's Uncertainties

dan delzell opinion page

It's that time of year again when Benjamin Franklin's famous quotation comes to mind: "In this world nothing is certain except death and taxes."

There is no question that life is filled with plenty of uncertainties. And everyday seems to present new perplexities that weigh upon our heart and mind. So what is a person to do in the midst of so much uncertainty?

A.W. Tozer had an excellent solution. Tozer said, "We must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainties of the world to come."

In other words, face the difficult issues of today in the light of eternity, as you joyfully anticipate what the Lord has waiting for believers in paradise.

The apostle Paul put it this way: "Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Cor. 4:17) After all, "our citizenship is in heaven." (Phil. 3:20)

Believers in Jesus are "Christ's ambassadors" (2 Cor. 5:20) on earth. We are just passing through, so to speak. We are on our way to the homeland where we will live with Jesus and all of God's family forever.

Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:1-3)

D.L. Moody said, "Surely it is not wrong for us to think and talk about heaven. I like to find out all I can about it. I expect to live there through all eternity. If I were going to dwell in any place in this country, if I were going to make it my home, I would inquire about its climate, about the neighbors I would have — about everything, in fact, that I could learn concerning it. If soon you were going to emigrate, that is the way you would feel."

Moody continued with these words of encouragement to believers: "Well, we are all going to emigrate in a very little while. We are going to spend eternity in another world .... Is it not natural that we should look and listen and try to find out who is already there and what is the route to take?"

Concerning the only route that leads to heaven, Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

God wants believers to draw strength today from the fact that we have eternal security through faith in our Savior. Heaven is our eternal home; earth is our temporary assignment, and Jesus is coming back again!

"Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him." (Hebrews 9:28)

Jonathan Edwards said, "To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here."

When Paul was given a glimpse of paradise, he "heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell." (2 Cor. 12:4) Meanwhile, "we live by faith, not by sight." (2 Cor. 5:7) And we "eagerly await" (Phil. 3:20) the "glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:13)

Martin Luther said, "I would not give one moment of heaven for all the joy and riches of the world, even if it lasted for thousands and thousands of years."

The joyful anticipation of going to heaven is a beautiful source of hope for Christians. It empowers our witness by giving us an assurance of what is yet to come. And it motivates us to "make the most of every opportunity" (Col. 4:5) as we serve the Lord and make disciples for our Savior. (Matt. 28:19)

God's Word instructs us: "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Col. 3:17)

A thankful heart is the only way to face life's uncertainties without getting bogged down by the latest crisis in the culture, or the pressures you face at home or on the job.

God loves His children with an unconditional love, and He will help us "in the day of trouble." (Psalm 50:15) When we call upon the Lord, we receive encouragement and assurance as "we press on toward the goal" (Phil. 3:14) looking forward to the day we will enter our heavenly home.

So if the burdens of life are wearing you down, don't despair. God has not forgotten you.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14)

George Whitefield summed it up beautifully: "How sweet is rest after fatigue! How sweet will heaven be when our journey is ended."

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.

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