I have found a lot of encouragement this week for my spirit in reminding myself that there is victory over death. Christ rose from the grave and abolished the power of death over mankind. For those who are in Christ, there is much to rejoice about.
I’ve been dwelling on this because a friend of mine passed away this past week. It was sudden and it was tragic. It was because of a vice in his life that he wasn’t able to overcome. Although he seemingly was defeated in this life by a weakness of the flesh, I have a lot of reason to feel confident that I will see him again. At his funeral, his father shared with us that Chris had been seeking Christ over the past few years. The relief I felt in my spirit was immense. Though we would all like to be perfect at overcoming the obstacles in our lives, sometimes that just isn’t the case. Thankfully, perfection on our part is not a requirement for entry into heaven. The only requirement is faith in Jesus.
I read the eleventh chapter of Hebrews when I need a reminder that perfection isn’t needed. Faith is needed. Look through that list of names and you will see a lot of not-perfect people. I have Samson’s name circled in that chapter. We know his story and it isn’t a very elegant tale. But his name, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, finds itself penned as a reminder for us that faith is what ultimately pleases God. Charles Spurgeon said it well when he stated, “There will be more in heaven than we expect to see there by a long way.”
In the case of my friend, Chris, I trust that I will see him again because, over the past few years, it seems that he took the faith he had in himself and cast that faith on someone a lot stronger and someone much more reliable — Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As I sat watching his memorial slideshow, the verses from Micah 7:7-8 came to my mind, “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O my enemy: when I fall, I shall arise.”
Rejoice this Sabbath in the fact that Jesus is the victor. When we, His children fall, he will make us rise.