Walk and Do Not Faint

"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." -- Psalm 27:13

Every believer has a hope—not a wish, but a solid hope for the future founded on the word of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who cannot lie. He declared, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away" (Matt. 24:35).

We are presently in the land of the dying, for until Christ returns for His own, not one person will leave this world without dying. It is appointed unto men once to die, but it is not appointed unto all men, for those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord will never pass through the portals of death (I Thess. 4:13-18).

But all those who are "dead in Christ" are very much alive with the Lord when their eyes close in death. The Bible assures us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, without missing a single beat. Absent here—present there.

"When fadeth the day and dark shadows draw nigh,
With Christ close at hand, it is not death to die;
He’ll wipe every tear, roll away every care;
We’ll say ‘good night’ here, but ‘good morning’ up there.
‘Good morning’ up there, where Christ is the Light;
‘Good morning’ up there where cometh no night;
When we step from this earth to God’s heaven so fair,
We’ll say ‘good night’ here, but ‘good morning’ up there!"

Praise God, while believers are now in the land of the dying, we are going to the land of the living, where the saved will never die!

We read that "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Rev. 21:4-5).

To the Sadducees, who did not believe in the Resurrection, the Lord reminded them of the words God spoke to Moses at the burning bush: "I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." These words were spoken hundreds of years after these men had been buried in their gravesite at Machpelah. God did not say, "I was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;" but "I AM their God;" and the Saviour added: "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."

The Lord told the thief on the cross, "Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise." The moment a believer leaves this land of the dying, he enters the land of the living, to be forever with the Lord.

To Martha, at the grave of her deceased brother Lazarus, the Lord Jesus promised: "Thy brother shall rise again." He also told her: "I am the Resurrection and the Life. He that believeth in Me, though he have died, yet shall he live." Neither death nor life can separate the believer from the Saviour, Who said: "Verily, verily I say unto you; he that believeth on Me shall never see death..."

Fanny Crosby, the blind poetess, wrote:

"Some day the silver cord will break,
And I no more, as now, shall sing;
But, oh, the joy when I shall wake
Within the palace of the King.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story—’Saved By Grace.’"

Romans 14:8 declares: "Whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s."

"And round my heart still closely twine
Those ties which naught can sever;
For I am His, and He is mine
Forever and forever."

The outlook here in this world is often discouraging and dismaying, but when we look up, we encourage ourselves in the Lord and His sweet and sure promises. Confidence in the Lord kept David from being discouraged, in spite of his dismal and foreboding circumstances.

The cure for fainting is reliance on His Word and compliance with it, as well. It is those who wait upon Him who renew their strength, who mount up with wings as eagles, who run and do not tire, who walk and do not faint.

David tells us in Psalm 2:2 that "the Lord is the strength of my life." Paul testified, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philip. 4:13). The Lord Jesus said, "With God all things are possible." It does not say, "To God all things are possible (though that is true)." My weakness and His strength, for His "strength is made perfect in weakness."

"To Him our weakness clings in tribulation sore;
And seeks the covert of His wings
Till all be o’er."

Without Him, we can do nothing, but with Him, all things. He is able to do in, for and through us exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think.

The secret of David’s power (this man after God’s own heart) was his singleness of purpose. The Lord Jesus said: "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." David did not say, "These fifty things I seek after," but "this one thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple" (Ps. 27:4).

The Lord Jesus said, "I am He that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore" (Rev. 1:18). He says to each of His own, "Because I live, ye shall live also" (John 14:19). The lives of believers are "hid with Christ in God," and they have the blessed assurance that "neither death nor life...shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

He lives! He lives in the "power of an endless life," and is able to save to the very end all who come unto God by Him (Heb. 7:24-25). He declares, "I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believes in Me, though he has died, yet shall he live." When the believer passes through the portals of death, he enters the portals of glory.

The Lord, by His resurrection, has annulled the power of death. The grave claims the body temporarily, until our Lord returns, but the believer departs to be with Christ, which is FAR BETTER—forever beyond the reach and power of death.

The Lord Jesus has brought to light life and immortality through the gospel. Eternal life is the believer’s possession now, but he patiently awaits that new and immortal body (no longer subject to death) which will be his at Christ’s return. "Our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour...Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body..." (Philip. 3:20).

"Jesus, we wait for Thee;
With Thee to have our part;
What can full joy and blessing be
But being where Thou art?"


A DEATH BED

As I lay sick upon my bed,
I heard them say "in danger;"
The word seemed very strange to me;
Could any word seem stranger?

"In danger"—of escape from sin
Forever and forever!
Of entering that most holy place
Where evil entereth never!

"In danger"—of beholding Him
Who is my soul’s salvation!
Whose promises sustain my soul
In blest anticipation!

"In danger"—of soon shaking off
Earth’s last remaining fetter!
And of departing hence to be
"With Christ," which is far better!

It is a solemn thing to die,
To face the King Immortal,
And each forgiven sinner should
Tread softly o’er the portal.

But when we have confessed our sins
To Him Who can discern them,
And God has given pardon, peace,
Tho’ we could ne’er deserve them,

Then, dying is no dangerous thing;
Safe in the Saviour’s keeping,
The ransomed soul is gently led
Beyond the reach of weeping.

                       ... James Mudge