The Pangs Of Death

Thursday, October 14, 2021
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Psalm 18:4-5 – The pangs of death surrounded me, and the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me. (NKJV)

The thought of experiencing it unnerved me — even though I claimed to be prepared.

While a pre-teen, the fear of dying overcame me. As a nine-year-old, I had chosen to follow Jesus. I knew that He had a place in heaven for me, but I feared what I had to experience to get there: death.

A few years later, relatives began dying. First, my paternal grandfather's unhealthy living habits finally caught up with him. A couple of years later, both of my great-grandparents followed him. Soon after, the remainder of my grandparents died. Presently, I have lost one parent, and my wife and I know that our remaining parents have fewer days to live.

In today's passage, old age wasn't why David feared death — he wasn't old. A jealous king was on his trail, and he was running for his life, hiding in caves and in the wilderness. Death seemed near at all times, but God preserved his life. King Saul didn't kill him — but was killed himself. David was made the next ruler.

Only a few welcome the thought of death. Regardless of how tough circumstances might be or how intense the pain of disease or other bodily ailments can become, most don't wish for death. Rather, they pray for healing or for God to soothe the debilitating situation. But the healing of diseases and the removing of stressful situations won't stop death. Barring the return of Jesus Christ, everyone will experience it.

Living peacefully, while at the same time knowing that the pangs of death are just around the corner, is possible. Doing what I did as a nine-year-old is the first step in facing death's pangs: asking Jesus to forgive my sins and committing myself to be His follower. This act removes the condemnation that I'm under and takes care of the sins that I'm responsible for — all of which keep me out of heaven.

Knowing that I'll immediately enter heaven upon my death is also comforting. I won't have to lie unconsciously in the ground until Christ returns. The apostle Paul wrote that to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). Jesus told the thief on the cross, who begged for His forgiveness, "Today you will be with Me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43 NKJV)

When we make things right between us and God, we no longer have to fear the pangs of death.

Prayer: Father, thank You for taking away the fear of death when we trust in You as our God. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Martin.

    Very comforting Martin.

    Very good. Thank you and God bless you.

    Amen Martin.
    To live is Christ and to die is gain.

    Your devotional was excellent timing for me. At 81 years old, it addressed my own thoughts and gave me reassurance. God bless you.

    Yes, Martin, I too believe and am grateful today to read this reminder of what is waiting for all of us believers. Thank you. Helps me.

    Thanks for this. Getting there! Good to be prepared! Bless you and your wife with many more years!

    Thank you, Martin, for your gospel message – wonderful words of comfort and peace
    Blessings in Christ,

    Greetings Martin,
    Thank you for this encouraging and very meaningful devotional this morning. What peace of mind we have when we place our trust in our loving Saviour and await the plans He has for us. Blessings for the writings you submit.

    Thank you, Martin, for sharing this very encouraging devotional with us.
    I’ve also seen the deaths of many people including close family members and friends. As age carries me closer to my own time, my prayers are to still remain useful for the work my Lord Jesus Christ has for me to do.

    Dear Martin,
    A great reminder that if we believe in Jesus that we do not have to have the “pangs of death” and know that we will be in heaven with Jesus right away. Thank you for reminding us all of Jesus’s gift to us.
    Both my parents died with peaceful faces. I watched my mom die and saw her face turn peaceful and her wrinkles disappear, and she smiled. I believe that was a gift to us from Jesus knowing that she was no longer in pain and welcomed into heaven. Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts on a wide variety of topics to encourage others. May you feel no fear of death but anticipation of heaven.

    Martin, I too refer to those passages in Corinthians and Luke when sharing with others about the sudden death of my husband! When I was taken into the emergency room after he had died, I knew immediately that I was looking at the shell of the man I knew and loved and that he was already absent from the body and present with the Lord. That verse gave me such comfort. Knowing how he loved and served the Lord and had accepted Christ’s invitation and had asked forgiveness for his sins, I know without a doubt he’s better off! I often wonder why Christians are so upset when someone dies. From my perspective, the loneliness is horrible, and I miss him terribly but I’m not sorry for him. He’s the fortunate one to be in His nearer presence! I long to see the Master face to face! (In His time, eh!)
    Thanks for writing this devotional!

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