For every one of us born into this world, our birth and death are unavoidable, and no one can escape death. Although we all know the life course of the cycle of life and death, yet no matter who we are, we are all afraid of death unaccountably. The once promised His believers that He would bestow the blessings of the kingdom of heaven upon the true believers in Him. The Scripture reads: “And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Except for God, no one knows whether our soul shall enter heaven or be sent down to the lake of fire and brimstone after our death. As I grew older, I heard more news of sudden deaths of my relatives and friends. The vague dread and indescribable fear about death in my heart, just like a shadow, bothered me all the time, leaving me unable to get released, even though I am a Christian.
Later, when visiting a friend, I talked about my worry unwittingly. My friend opened and read me the words in the Book of Job, “So Job died, being old and full of days” (Job 42:17). Then he said, “Having read the Book of Job, we know that Job was blessed by God after enduring trials, living a hundred and forty years more and dying full of days. From this we can see that Job passed away with no pain. He feared God and shunned evil all his life. In particular, when his property was stolen, his children died and he himself had painful sores all over, in such trials, he did not sin with his lips but praised God. Finally, he stood witness, put Satan to shame and was called righteous by God; thereby God blessed him. From Job’s conduct in these trials, we can see that he had a great knowledge of God’s sovereignty, and he knew that all he had, including his wealth and lifespan, are ruled over by God. When he was old and faced death, he had no regrets or worries in his life. So he did not fear death but felt peaceful in his heart. …”
My friend’s fellowship made me realize the real reason why Job could face death with no suffering. Under the circumstances that Job had never seen God, nor heard His words, he was convinced of God’s existence in his heart. Furthermore, from the fact that God rules over all things, he appreciated that God’s deeds are everywhere and saw His sovereignty; moreover, he felt God’s authority and power. Therefore, he stayed true to his belief and kept his responsibility and obligation that a creature of God should have, which is to say, he pursued walking the God-fearing, evil-shunning way and being upright. Because he believed in, submitted as well as had personally experienced God’s sovereignty, he could commit himself into God’s hands completely; because his pursuits and life goals were in accord with God’s will, he could walk the God-fearing, evil-shunning way, living out a meaningful life. Therefore, when he was old and confronted death, he could drop everything in the world. Besides, Job was “perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil” in the eyes of God. He walked in the God-fearing, evil-shunning way for his whole life and never sinned against God. Because he knew that, after death, he would come back to the Creator, he faced death calmly and fearlessly and felt a sense of belonging in the depths of his heart.
By comparing Job’s experience, I found the source of my fear of death: It is because I do not understand God’s sovereignty, authority and power, much less am I willing to commit my future and destination into His hand completely and obey His sovereignty, ordination, orchestrations and arrangements. I always want to rule over my own fate. What’s more, with regard to my future and destiny, I have my personal motive and desire: I want to take my sacrifice and suffering as the bargaining stock for the glorious crown and wonderful blessings of heaven, fearing that I cannot gain God’s blessings after my sacrifices. Hence my heart invariably filled with fear and restlessness of death.
Afterward, my friend continued, “If we want to avoid leaving regrets and face death calmly, we should, like Job, seek to know and completely obey the Creator’s sovereignty and authority. Only in this way can we receive God’s blessings and guidance and live in a released and straightforward way. Even though we are faced with death, we can accept it calmly without any pain, worry or regrets.” At my friend’s words, I felt greatly relieved and also had the way to practice. In the following days, I will seek to live like Job and take walking in God’s way as my lifelong goal of pursuit. Such life is of significance. Only if we become a man who fears God and shuns evil, can we transcend the bondage of death, living calmly and fearlessly, freely and unrestrainedly in God’s presence.