A Brief Meditation for the Month

October 2022

We all live with the experience of perpetual change. Everything around us in our world is constantly going through a cycle of change. From the moment of conception in the womb, we ourselves commence a process of change as the foetus develops and grows until the time of birth. Upon entering this world at birth, we begin our earthly pilgrimage from infancy to childhood. From childhood, we progress into our teenage years then advance to the maturity of adulthood, from where we begin the gradual decline towards old age. Finally, we pass from this world and beyond it to the eternal world of spirits. At death, our bodies, and spirits, united during this life, part company and the words of “the Preacher” in the book of Ecclesiastes come to pass: “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7.

When the apostle Paul considered his life experiences in this world and compared them with what awaited him beyond the grave, he opened his heart to the Christian community in Philippi, telling them he had a “desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better,” Philippians 1:23. Such a desire, and such a hope, is not unique to an apostle. All the Lord’s dear people know that this material world, however pleasant and comfortable it may be for a time, is not their permanent home. They believe they are pilgrims who are journeying from time to eternity, from the state and experience of mortality to that of immortality, 1Corinthians 15:53. This awaited change, however much it may be anticipated, will be comprehended only through the experience itself. The transition from mortality to immortality, from earthly imperfection to heavenly perfection, will surpass our grandest expectations. This momentous change is described by the apostle John: “we shall be like him”—like the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 John 3:2. This is the earnest desire of every genuine Christian. It is often their lament throughout this life that they are not as Christlike as they ought to be or as they want to be. Their remaining corruption blemishes their intentions and efforts to be Christlike, producing actions and attitudes which cause personal grief and remorse. Therefore, it is this hope of future Christlikeness that encourages and enables the Lord’s children to press on despite their oft-lamented imperfections, with the assurance that this present state of corruption shall yet pass away. Even while the physical body itself shall corrupt and decay in the grave, the spirit, having returned unto God, will enjoy sinless perfection. The immortal soul of the redeemed and justified sinner, when brought home to eternal glory, will be forever in the company of “the spirits of just men made perfect,” Hebrews 12:23. This was something the saintly but severely tried Job anticipated, saying, “All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” Job was expecting God to call him, and he would answer the call—Job 14:14–15. While such a solemn and sometimes sudden call will introduce the impenitent, Christ-rejecting sinner to the awful experience of eternal woe, it will usher the child of grace into the vast, innumerable congregation of saints. Never again will they be troubled by Satan or sin. They shall have left the battlefield of life to enjoy that eternal rest that is reserved for the triumphant people of God—Hebrews 4:9. The apostle Paul wrote: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” 2Corinthians 4:17. Dear child of God, the best is yet to be. The believer’s future is indeed a bright one.

G. G. Hutton.