The apostle Paul acknowledged one thing. Whether he lived or died, Christ was his reason. In Romans 14, Paul instructs his readers. If we live or if we die, we do it for the Lord. Jesus’ death on the cross made Him the Lord of the living and Lord of the dead. We no longer belong to ourselves but to Christ whether alive or dead.
In 2 Corinthians chapter 5, he encourages his readers not to lose hope. If they are struggling with affliction, consider forever, it’s only one small wave in the ocean of eternity. “Look to the eternal. Look to the things you cannot see.” he tells his readers.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul communicates his mental debate. Would he be better off alive or dead? If he were to die, he would be with his first love Jesus. For Paul that would be a tremendous gain, the fruition of his whole life. Yet something else pulls at him. He loves and has concerns for those that God has given him to share life with. He knows they still need him. For Paul, the debate is over. For their joy and for their progress of faith, he will live on.
Thank you, Jesus, the joy giver, for giving purpose and meaning to our being, not only in this life but also in the one to come.