A few summers ago, I was at a water park with my children and I sat down on a bench to watch them play. As soon as I sat down – I was stung by a bee. I jumped up in pain, and immediately tried to look at the spot where I was stung…only I couldn’t because it was on my hind end! Once my daughter got out of the water, she confirmed I had been stung but since the stinger was in an unfortunate spot, we had to go to the first aid station to get it out. As we walked there, we laughed hysterically and while it was embarrassing to have the nurse remove the stinger, – I was very grateful for relief from the pain.
Have you been there?
Have you been stung by the pain of terrible news from a doctor or something else that you never saw coming? Everyone faces sorrow in life but none of us want it or plan for it and the worst stinger of all is the death of a loved one.
100% of us are going to die.
That stings —
but the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 15 gives us hope! It is all about the resurrection of Jesus and Paul confirms that not only was Christ raised from the dead but we too will rise from the dead!
Jesus’ death, takes away the sting of death.
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 15:54-56)
The sting of death is sin. Sin is the cause of death.
The power of sin is the law. The law reveals our sin.
But thanks be to God! He has given us victory through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ death on the cross has swallowed up the sting! Jesus trampled death when he rose from the dead and now we do not have to fear death. He has declared victory over his enemy.
There is an agony of pain and fear surrounding death that can grip and immobilize us if we do not understand the resurrection power and peace it can bring. Because of Christ’s resurrection, we can face startling news and the darkest of nights with strength and quiet confidence. We can trust that our God is in complete control and that we are loved.
God wants to remove the stinger for his children and so he sent Jesus – the prince of peace.
If we believe in Jesus and receive him as our Lord and Savior – when we die, we will fall asleep and immediately wake up in God’s presence. Can you imagine? Our loving God will look us in the eye and say… welcome home.
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
(2 Corinthians 5:8)
Our home in heaven is a wonderful place – Jesus is there! Your loved ones who have trusted in Jesus are there. No pain or sorrow is there.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
No place on earth compares! And Paul proclaims:
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Dying is gain.
Do you believe that?
Once you understand this truth, you will find an inner strength and peace that cannot be rattled. Earthly disappointments, trials, and suffering will no longer control you. And even though we feel pain and sorrow, because of the resurrection truth, we can keep on going.
Look at how Paul finishes 1 Corinthians chapter 15. He says:
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
(1 Corinthians 15:58)
4 Ways to Live Despite the Sting of Death
1.) Be steadfast.
Do not waver – stand firm!
2.) Be immovable.
Do not yield to the worries of this world.
3.) Always abound in the work of the Lord.
Whatever God has called you to do – abound in that work. Use your gifts and talents all for His glory, until the day He calls you home.
4.) Your labor is NOT in vain.
Do not quit or give up! Not one minute of your labor for the Lord will be wasted.
A hard truth is that the entire human race will be raised from the dead but not all will join us in heaven. May we remember to share the gospel truth with everyone we know and also live what we believe. Be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord because your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Hold onto resurrection hope. Jesus loves you!