Scared Of Dying

"Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying." (Hebrews 2:15 NLT)

We all know that confidence is one of the most important attributes we can display. Employers look for it. Romantic partners look for it. Co-workers look for it.

If confidence is so important for our success in life, why do we do often not have it? In the last few devotionals, I've shared with you some of the roadblocks to confidence that were evident in the lives of the disciples right after the Crucifixion. They were a mess. The first two roadblocks to confidence we can see in their lives were fatigue and failure. The third roadblock — and the most critical — is fear.

The Bible says in John 20:19, "The disciples met together locked behind closed doors in fear of the Jewish leaders" (TLB). The first disciples had seen what happened to Jesus, and they were afraid they were next.

They were playing the "what-if"game. Do you ever do that? "What if I fail? What if I never get married? What if I get cancer?" 

What do we worry about the most? Death! People don't want to talk about death.  It's the last taboo. Invite some people home after church, and then, over coffee, say, "Let's talk about death." Watch what happens. 

When some children were asked to write sentences about what they believed about death, here's what they said: 

  • Gilda, age 8: "When you die, they put you in a box and bury you in the ground because you don't look too good." 
  • Stephanie, age 9: "Doctors help you so you won't die until you pay their bill."
  • Marsha, age 9: "When you die, you don't have to do homework in Heaven unless your teacher is there also."
  • Raymond, age 10: "A good doctor can help you so you won't die. A bad doctor sends you to Heaven."

But the most important message of the Bible is that death isn't the end of you. You don't have to fear it, because Jesus conquered it. Because Jesus died on the cross for you and was raised from the dead to conquer death, you can know for sure that you'll spend eternity in Heaven. Hebrews 2:15 tells us, "Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying" (NLT).

I'm not afraid of dying, because I know where I'm going.

Talk About It

Are you afraid of death? If so, what is that fear based on?

How would your life be different if you embraced death as a homecoming and celebration instead of a dark and uncertain unknown?

 

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.

SIGN UP FOR PASTOR RICK’S FREE DAILY HOPE DEVOTIONAL

SIGN UP FOR DAILY HOPE DEVOTIONAL

Special Offer

InvisibleWar-gift-bottom-left_mini

The Invisible War Study Kit

Do you ever feel tired, drained or “beat-up” and just don’t know why? That’s because every day you’re fighting an unseen spiritual war. You can’t see it, but its effects are very real. In his 7 session Study Kit “The Invisible War: Winning the Battle of Temptation," Pastor Rick will teach you how to overcome the three predictable types of temptations that Satan uses to entice and defeat you: Passion, Possession, and Position.

REQUEST YOUR COPY

On the Radio

InvisibleWar-currentseries-bottom-right

The Invisible War Audio Series

Why is everything in life so hard? Why does doing the right thing often feel like a battle? In this new series, Pastor Rick shares insights from God’s Word about the unseen spiritual forces working against us; the invisible war between good and evil. This series will help you win the battle within.

Purchase this seriesListen to this series