My friend and I share the same loss. Breast cancer stole both our mothers at relatively young ages. Before her death, my friend’s mom told her about a dream she believed came from God. In the dream, an irresistible light beckoned her into another world. She yearned to follow the light. But, something held her back.
“My children?” she asked.
“You’ll see them in the twinkling of an eye,” the Light promised.
By sharing the dream, this mother assured her daughter: all will be well. We’ll be together again—soon.
Whether we are losing a loved one or facing our own demise, death naturally raises concerns. What will happen to me? What will happen to them?
A Promised Place
The patriarchs Jacob and Joseph show us the assurance faith brings when we face death. Jacob lived a checkered life. But like a fall leaf, the brilliance of his faith displayed itself best when he was dying (Hebrews 11:21, NIV).
How does he demonstrate faith? Jacob had settled in Egypt after a terrible famine drove him from the land of Canaan. He couldn’t even see the Promised Land, but he gave Joseph’s sons plots in it (Genesis 48:8-22). In other words, Jacob gave his grandsons land he did not possess! Imagine your grandfather on his deathbed giving you land he doesn’t own.
Jacob was not senile. He believed the promise God had spoken to his grandfather Abraham. “Sons,” he was saying, “even though we don’t own it yet, we will. God is going to make you a great people.”
Jacob worshiped. God’s promise was more certain to Jacob than any deed he could hold in his hand. He would be buried in the Promised Land his descendants would one day possess. He would be resurrected in that land.
Those of us in the family of faith have a Promised Land too. Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 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 14:2-4, NIV).
Believing God’s promise for the future allows us to bless others and worship even when we are dying. The hope my friend’s dying mother passed on to her decades ago still comforts her today.
A Blessed Assurance
Joseph also died in faith: “24 Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.’ 25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, ‘God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here’” (Genesis 50:24-25).
Two hundred years had passed since God had promised the land to Abraham. None of the Hebrews were living in Canaan. Yet Joseph made them promise to carry his bones to the Promised Land when they left Egypt (Hebrews 11:21-22, NIV). He too counted on being resurrected with his ancestors.
Twice Joseph said: “God will surely take care of you.” He, no doubt, meant God would fulfill His promise to Israel. But the words apply to all believers. Jesus put it this way, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20, NIV).
Jacob and Joseph died with assurance—in the twinkling of an eye—they’d see their loved ones again. Until that time, God would take care of them.
Do you know God will take care of you when you die (1 John 5:12; John 11:25)? Do you have the assurance He will take care of your loved ones after you’re gone? If we can help you settle those concerns, please contact us.
Question: Have you ever been comforted by someone who was facing or who had faced death?
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Believing God’s promise makes all the difference. I know an elderly gentleman who worked with me when I worked for a fireworks company – he is very Catholic and such a sweet man (same age as my dad). We got into a conversation a few years ago when he was about 84 or 85 and he made a comment to the effect of – I don’t know where I’ll end up when I die. I asked why he didn’t know. And he said he’d done a lot of bad things. We had a really deep conversation and when he was diagnosed with bone cancer a few years later I spoke with one of his son in laws and referenced that conversation so they would know he needed that assurance. He is still with us and doing relatively well but it makes me so sad to think someone in his late 80’s who loves God still worries and isn’t fully trusting in Jesus’s sacrifice. A beautiful post.
Debbie Wilson says
Ann, I agree. And God wants us to have assurance: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). I pray your friend will be able to gain assurance soon.
Earle Finley says
Great perspective on the hope all those in Christ share. It not only a comfort to Sara and I, but weighs heavily on our burden for lost family members, neighbors and friends to share the hope of the Gospel.
Debbie Wilson says
I know God hears the prayer of your heart, Earle. He loves them more than we do. May He grant that you and Sara see the answer. I can’t help but think Psalms 37:4 and 1 John 5:14-15 apply to such heartfelt requests.