Philippians 1
John 5
Job 40

To be living is the Anointed, but to have died is gain. Which will I choose? I don’t know, for I’m torn between the two.

Me too. ☹️

Thoughts of death and suicide can be triggered by all sorts of things.

Bad health which seems to have no chance of ever getting better.
No cure. No medications. No relief. No end.

A spouse who is abusive. A loveless marriage.
You want to do the right thing and see out “to death do us part” but you hope it’s sooner rather than later.
Divorce is a legal option, and more accepted these days even in the church. But not one you want to take. After all, you promised Yahweh that you wouldn’t.

Poverty. Constant poverty with no chance of ever escaping it can be incredibly difficult to face day after day.
All around the world, all over the media we constantly see people with massive wealth.
But even the average person in developed countries like the USA and Australia is in the top 10% of wealthy people in the world!
If you’re not, that’s hard to deal with. And especially so if you live in one of those wealthy countries and you’re struggling to rent a liveable house and to put food on the table for your children.

Maybe you’re not suicidal in the sense that you are thinking of how you can take your own life and end this suffering. But maybe you’re just hoping Yahweh does it for you. Today.

Would it surprise you that Paulus, the Bible guy who wrote a lot of the New Testament, felt the same way?
For sure his suffering was beyond anything most of us will ever experience.
But he wanted it to end. And he could see that death was the only way out.
And that for himself, he would literally be better off dead.

“For to me — to be living is the Anointed, but to have died is gain. But if for me to live in the flesh will be a fruitful work, then which will I choose? I don’t know, for I’m torn between the two — having the desire to depart and to be united with the Anointed, for that’s far better, but it’s more necessary for you that I remain in the flesh.”

He wanted to die and be with his lord for eternity, free from this suffering and pain of life.
But he knew that if he stayed alive he could help so many people, either find salvation, or just help them in their walk as Christians. So he was willing to continue to endure the suffering, for them.

How about you?
Are there any people who could be benefitted from your continued life?
Do you love them enough to endure that for their sake?

There could also be other reasons Yahweh is asking you to prolong your life.

Perhaps like Job, he’s refining your character.
Who you are is way more important than what you do. Even if what you do is all for God. He wants to build your character. And sometimes the only way to get through to you is through adversity.
And perhaps like Job, you’ll never know while you’re alive that this is even happening, and that it’s all been orchestrated by God.
But perhaps like Job, you’ll accept your suffering. Acknowledging that Yahweh is free to choose whatever life he wants for you. And whatever his choice, it is based on love, and choosing whatever is ultimately for your best.

Perhaps like the man in John 5 who had been ill for 38 years. And was suddenly healed by Yeshua to show everyone that he really is the son of Yahweh… Perhaps your suffering is not endless after all? I’m sure it feels like it is, but perhaps relief for you suffering is somewhere in the future? Perhaps your suffering is somehow bringing glory to God?

Whatever the reason. Whatever your suffering is.
Death will certainly be a release.
For you.

But you don’t want to realise 5 seconds later that you should have endured for a greater prize. And brought benefit to others and glory to God.

Hang in there. Yahweh will release you when it’s time.
Endure, and glorify him until then.

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