Pastor W. was a good man. He was not the head pastor of his church but served as one of the associate pastors. Pastor W. was a friendly and outgoing man who was liked by all. He was a married man with children in their late teens.
But death came slowly and unexpectedly for Pastor W. He began to have health problems and was diagnosed with liver cancer. When people heard this news, they were saddened as this is a sentence of impending death. However from the beginning to the end of this sickness, Pastor W. showed to all that he was a man of God. Let me correct myself. He was a great man of God.
When Pastor W. was asked about his sickness he always brought up the goodness of the Lord. It could be clearly seen that this man loved the Lord and was standing in faith. I'm sure he suffered pain and experienced all the human emotions from such a sickness. But Pastor W. always showed his love and commitment to the Lord.
Pastor W. never gave out a word of discouragement but only replied praising the goodness of the Lord whom he loved. He was very consistant on this attitude! As time went on Pastor W. became very sick. The disease continued to progress. Through it all, Pastor W. had nothing but goodness and praise to say about the Lord. It was this time that the great testimony of this saint began to really shine through. It is real easy to praise the Lord in the good times. However, in times of pain and trial Pastor W.'s faith was on open display by his praise to the goodness of the Lord.
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Finally Pastor W. died and went to glory. He left earth with an excellent testimony of his love and commitment to the Lord. He praised the goodness of the Lord right up until his dying day. As a result of his open display of faith, many were encouraged.
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
I think it is important to remember such a testimony. In times of trial, everyone suffers times of weakness and discouragement. By thinking of the great testimony of Godly men like Pastor W., it is a good encouragement. I have seen people go through trials and they get so depressed. A person under trial who walks like a zombie suffering depression is a bad testimony of faith in Christ. Does such a person really trust in the Lord? Can God, the creator of the universe, be unable to take care the needs of His children? Why wine and wine like a person who believes the Lord cannot take care of him? Instead of displaying a bad testimony to the world, remember walking with God here on earth is a walk of faith. The Lord wants His children to trust in Him. Therefore, why not walk with the Lord in faith and trust! This means clinging and drawing near unto the Lord in the good times as well as in the bad.
Pastor W. certainly had a great testimony which he faithfully kept until the day of his death. When asked about his sickness, he would always reply that God is taking good care of him. It was not possible to get a discouraging or depressing word out of Pastor W.
Remember this fact and encouragement the next time you suffer a trial!
7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
8 For 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.
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