Summary: Although difficult for us to cope with, the death of a saint is precious to God.
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."
This seems like an odd verse. Why would death be precious to God? Wasn’t it the entrance of sin into the world that brought forth the curse of death? Certainly God abhors sin, and I would be willing to say that individuals in their right minds abhor the thought of dying. So why would the death of His very children be precious to God? I think the Bible gives us some wonderful reasons. Lets look at a few.
I. No More Suffering
Suffering is simply a fact of life. In sickness and disease, we experience physical suffering. In trials and tribulations, we experience mental and emotional suffering. In sin, we experience spiritual sufferings. No one is an island unto himself. For this reason, no one is immune to suffering. Jesus states in John 16:33, "In the world ye shall have tribulation."
This is true for the child of God as well. II Timothy 3:12 states, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." One chapter prior, the Apostle Paul states, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him." Paul again writes in Romans 8:17, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." The Apostle Peter puts suffering in a practical sense when he writes in I Peter 2:21, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps."
In death, for the child of God, suffering ceases to exist. In heaven, the Bible teaches that there will be no more suffering. Revelation 21:4 states that in heaven "neither shall there be any more pain." For those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, physical death is the end of all suffering forever and ever. But for those who refuse Christ, their suffering has only begun.
In Mark 16:25, Jesus relates a tale of two individuals. One was a rich man who seemed to live in the lap of luxury. The other man was named Lazarus. Lazarus seemed to be a homeless beggar who also suffered from physical problems. Jesus states that both eventually died. However, the rich man, who in this life suffered little, is now tormented in the flames of hell. Lazarus, in contrast to the rich man, is now comforted. We can know that in Christ, all suffering comes to an end in death.
II. No More Sorrow
Life offers us many sorrows. We are sorrowful at times of death, at times of sickness, at times of mistakes and errors. Sorrows are present at every turn. But in John 14:1, Jesus states, "Let not your hearts be troubled." We can be at peace knowing that in heaven sorrow will be no more. Again as we look at Revelation 21:4, we read that in heaven there will be "neither sorrow." Isaiah 35:10 states, "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isaiah 65:19 tells us that God will joy in His people in heaven and that there will not be any further weeping or crying. Praise God that in heaven we will never again feel sorrowful for any reason.
III. No More Sickness
At some point in our lives we have all experienced sickness. Whether just the common cold, or maybe the flu, or even something more serious like heart disease or cancer, sickness occurs in the life of every individual. Due to the curse of sin, these fleshly bodies over time begin the wear down and finally wear out. The Bible states that it is once appointed unto man to die. The ratio of death to individuals is 1:1. All will die.
God, in His Word, gives us another comforting thought. In Revelation 21:4, the Bible states that "there shall be no more death." Death is forever wiped away in heaven. The Apostle Paul writes in I Corinthians 15:54-57, "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Death no longer is victorious. It no longer has any sting. Death entirely has been swallowed up. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." In heaven, there will never be another sickness or another death. We are victorious over death through Jesus Christ our Lord.