“Some of God’s family are safe in heaven. They are at rest in that place which the Lord Jesus expressly calls ‘Paradise’ (Luke 23:43) They have finished their course. They have fought their battle. They have done their appointed work. They have learned their lessons. They have carried their cross. They have passed through the waves of this troublesome world and reached the harbor. Little as we know about them, we know that they are happy. They are no longer troubled by sin and temptation. They have said good-bye for ever to poverty and anxiety, to pain and sickness, to sorrow and tears. They are with Christ Himself, who loved them and gave Himself for them, and in His company they must needs be happy (Phil 1:23). They have nothing to fear in looking back to the past. They have nothing to dread in looking forward to things to come. Three things only are the lacking to make their happiness complete. These three are the second advent of Christ in glory, the resurrection of their own bodies, and the gathering together of all believers. And of these three things they are sure.”
I found this wonderful quote reading from J.C. Ryle’s Practical Religion. I think it would be wonderful to place it in the bulletins at the funerals of saints as a reminder of where are brothers and sisters are who go on to glory before we do.
This quote by Ryle is a good reminder of just how blessed those are who are in Christ. The comfort and satisfaction that they experience is wonderful. I was also really drawn to sentence where Ryle says that the sains have done “their appointed work.” That is comforting to know because when God calls us home, no matter in youth, middle or old age, that IS our time appointed by God. We have completed what He wanted us to complete. We have finished the race that He wanted us to finish. Regardless of what we want to accomplish in life, on that day, we have done all and gone through all that He wanted to go through. No longer are the concerns of family and friends and the world, our business. We must ultimately submit to His sovereign will. All the things of this earth that we love and hold dear, are left in His hands and we no longer live with the pretension that all these things are in our care. That is the day that we truly let go, and come under His easy and wonderful yoke.
It is up to us to remain obedient until that day. To do so, will lead us to hear those wonderful words: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”