The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:7
I settled into the church pew behind a woman as the worship team began playing “I Can Only Imagine.” Raising my hands, I praised God as the woman’s sweet soprano voice harmonized with mine. After telling me about her health struggles, we decided to pray together during her upcoming cancer treatments.
A few months later, Louise told me she feared dying. Leaning onto her hospital bed, I rested my head next to hers, whispered a prayer, and quietly sang our song. I can only imagine what it was like for Louise when she worshiped Jesus face-to-face just a few days later.
The apostle Paul offered comforting assurance for his readers who were facing death (2 Corinthians 5:1). The suffering experienced on this side of eternity may cause groaning, but our hope remains anchored to our heavenly dwelling—our eternal existence with Jesus (vv. 2–4). Though God designed us to yearn for everlasting life with Him (vv. 5–6), His promises are meant to impact the way we live for Him now (vv. 7–10).
As we live to please Jesus while waiting for Him to return or call us home, we can rejoice in the peace of His constant presence. What will we experience the moment we leave our earthly bodies and join Jesus in eternity? We can only imagine!
When have you been worried about or discouraged by facing death or losing a loved one? How does God’s promise of everlasting life encourage you?
Loving God, thank You for promising to be with me on earth and for all eternity.
For further study, read Crying for Us All: How Jesus Shares Our Grief
Paul used metaphors like “jars of clay” (2 Corinthians 4:7) and “earthly tent” (5:1) to describe the frailty and mortality of our earthly human bodies, contrasting them with the indestructibility, immortality, and glory of our resurrection bodies. Our earthly bodies are “wasting away” (4:16), worn out by sin, decay, and death. While “we grow weary in our present bodies,” Paul points us to the hope of our eternal glorious embodiment when we will “put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing” (5:2 nlt). The apostle likens the believer’s new body to “a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself” (v. 1 nlt). Elsewhere, Paul speaks of a “spiritual body”—imperishable, glorious, powerful, and everlasting (1 Corinthians 15:42–53).