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Read 2 Timothy 4
Adapted from Live|Dead Joy by Dick Brogden
Ending well has nothing to do with dying rich, being respected by people, or slipping peacefully from sleep to eternity. A person may die with all of the external trappings of peace, but peaceful passages into eternity have historically happened at the stake and in physical agony on a sick bed.
We know Paul’s summary of his life:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” (2 Timothy 4:7).
Let us not forget that his head was chopped off. Ending well has nothing to do with dying apart from persecution. It also has nothing to do with going to heaven healthy. A clear mockery of this idea is found in 2 Kings 13:14: “Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he would die.”
Elisha was a great man of God. He made the Jordan part, predicted victories through music, performed miracles with oil, raised a boy from the dead, healed a Syrian of leprosy, floated a metal ax head, struck an army blind, and called down fire from heaven. God used him to perform other miracles too, but Elisha got sick and died a slow painful death.
If Elisha had to cross over to eternal health on the bridge of terminal illness, how can some people presume that they will be spared the burdens of sickness, suffering, or trial?
Does God want everyone healthy and provided for? Ultimately, yes—in heaven. On earth, the prophets died sick, apostles had their heads chopped off, and the Messiah writhed on a cross. Yet they ended superbly well. All remained faithful, and all passed victorious into eternal life.
Faith is not about money and wealth. Faith is about trust in Jesus—trust that He is real, worth suffering for, worth being sick for, worth being in prison for, worth dying for, worth arriving at the end of life’s race poured out, spent, and exhausted from sharing the gospel.
We end well when we carry the supremacy of Jesus’ worth all the way to heaven—no matter how our time on earth ends.
seven:fourteen Daily Devotional.
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