Our passage from the Word of God today is Ecclesiastes 12:7. It reads, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”
Our quote for today is from Jim Elliot. He said, “I must not think it strange if God takes in youth those whom I would have kept on earth until they were older. God is peopling eternity, and I must not restrict him to old men and women.”
Our problem today is “The Problem of Death in Your Life” (part 1) from the book, “The Guide to Biblical Counseling” by Dr. Tim Clinton and Dr. Ron Hawkins.
Let’s begin with some definitions and key thoughts regarding death:
Dave was forty-six and enjoying life when he was hit by a car and killed while jogging. His wife came home from work to a mysteriously empty house — and then a police car pulled into the driveway.
Millie was recovering from a heart attack in the hospital when another massive attack occurred and her heart stopped instantly. Her son found her dead on the floor of her hospital room.
Lilly had a terminal illness, but her death was hastened when a lengthy power outage at her parents’ home stopped the respirator that kept her breathing.
– Death was not God’s original desire for humanity. God created human beings for life not death. Adam had received the breath of life. It was not until Adam and Eve sinned that death arrived.
– Death is difficult because it is loss — real and painful because a loved one is gone; symbolic because it reminds us of lost innocence, sin, and punishment.
– Death is distasteful and dreaded by humans, though God describes it as a gateway to a glorious new day. Humans see death as an end of a journey; God sees it as the beginning of a journey to a better life.
– Responses to death are as different as are individuals.
– The bereaved may ask questions like, “Why did God take him away?”; “Why did I get mad at her before she left the house?”; “What was I thinking when I let him go without me?”; “What if…?”; “Why…?”
– Sudden death can lead to a complicated grieving process because the suddenness often leaves feelings of anger, guilt, and abandonment.
– We now know that there are “stages” of grief as described by various theorists. On hearing of a death, two stages are particularly serious: shock and denial. Shock is an emotional and physical response to the news of a sudden death. The bereaved person may experience a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, and feelings of unreality.
Denial may follow quickly, and the bereaved person may start doing ordinary things like washing the dishes or balancing a checkbook in an attempt to reestablish normalcy. Denial is usually broken when the person must face up to the many decisions that follow a death.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.