David wrote in Psalm 63 about seeking God earnestly and being thirsty for God like a dry and thirsty land. David shared that he desired to praise God and bless him because his loving kindness and steadfast love is better than life. Imagine that there is something which is better than life itself. God created life and our existence and since we live in him and move and have our being, then having God is better than life. Our life exists on this planet and we also have a life beyond this earth. What meaning would we attribute to life outside of the creator?
“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Paul spoke of the resurrection of the dead and about Jesus who died and rose again and is seated with God in heaven. He also said that the last enemy to be destroyed is death. We have an earthly body and will have a heavenly body which will not perish. “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53). Paul also spoke of being absent from the body and being present with God in heaven.
Our life on earth is temporal and we live in this body to aid our existence while we are here. The saints who have gone ahead, have transitioned from this body and are resting until the Lord returns. For those who have made it into eternal rest, their assignment has been completed and they are waiting on the other side. We don’t have to be concerned about our loved ones who have gone on before. It is those of us who are here who need to make it into eternal rest. We live and do what God has assigned us to do so that we can enter into that rest.
One day, we will be able to say like Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Believers who transitioned from this earth into eternity have lost nothing, but gained eternal rest. We grieve and mourn because we miss them and we want them to be here with us. We do not mourn like unbelievers because we know that they are at home with the Lord. We live in a way that will ensure that we will see them again when we enter into that rest with them.