Dealing with the death of a loved one can be one of the greatest agonies that a person has to face. We think of the death of a loved one in terms of heartache, tears, sorrow, and pain. Yet, Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Let us consider how that the death of one of God’s saints is “precious” in His sight.
Whereas the death of a loved one causes us to have sorrow and pain, God has a different prospective. The verse above is looking at death more from the prospective of God. It is clear that God is delighted when a person becomes a Christian. Certainly, there is rejoicing in heaven. We can also say that He is delighted when He sees the new Christian progressing from a new born babe in Christ to a mature Christian. Parents rejoice when their children achieve certain goals, such as earning their high school diploma, for example. God rejoices when we reach the end of our lives as a faithful Christian.
When we die, we are going home to God. Paul, according to Philippians 1:23, contemplated death near the end of his life and stated that he had a “ desire to be with Christ; which is far better.”(Note also II Cor. 5:6-8) Those who die in Christ are going home to their heavenly Father.
We may refer to death as a “departure,” and in a certain sense it is. There was once a tribe in Africa who referred to death, not as a departure, but as an arrival. They were looking at death from heaven’s standpoint.
Losing a loved one is very difficult. But, if we can look at our loved one ’s death as God does; if we can look at their death as “precious,” then perhaps we can be comforted when our loved ones die who are faithful Christians. We will probably still feel “sorrow upon sorrow” (Phil. 2:27), but we should also look at their death as God does. Their death is “precious” to the Lord.
By Mike Johnson
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