The answer to life and all its riddles can be found in these few statements that Jesus made to his disciples right before he predicted his death. These are so good, that it is better just to let Jesus’ words stand by themselves.
“Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16, verse 23)
God’s concerns for us go beyond just merely human concerns. God is concerned with our soul.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (verse 24-25)
If you try to save yourself through dependence on yourself instead of God, then you will ultimately lose your life for eternity.
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (verse 26)
Nothing. Everything on this earth is temporary except for our soul, which is neither created by this earth or bound to it.
“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” (verse 27)
Not punishment, but rewards! For those of us who accept Jesus as our Savior, we have no punishment because Jesus has already taken our punishment. Don’t beat yourself up over past mistakes and sins. Think on your possible rewards in heaven instead – your attitudes to others, your kind actions, your sacrifice to others. These good deeds, however small, will not go unnoticed or unrewarded in heaven.
“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (verse 28)
The completeness of Jesus coming into his kingdom is marked by his crucifixion, resurrection, ascension into heaven, and then coming back to us in the form of the Holy Spirit.
My prayer is that everyone who hears these words will believe them, and that you will ask Jesus to make Himself known to you, and then enjoy knowing that no matter what may happen in this life, you are saved and protected by God, you are loved by God, and that you will one day get to see His Father’s glory with all his angels.