"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
2 Timothy 4:7-8
What a difference between this and being scared of death and judgment, eh? At the end of my life, I totally want to feel like this.
I think it is so easy to get wrapped up in the temporary earth-life-only perspective, and to think of death or calamities as the worst things that could ever happen. And I am not saying they aren't bad, but from a larger perspective, they aren't the worst thing that could happen, for sure. The other day we were talking in Sunday School about some of the stuff that is going to happen before the Second Coming, and it sounded scary... but also, at the same time, cool. Because some of those things have to happen for us to get to the Millennium part, which is beyond cool. :) And I guess the whole thing is that it all fits together in the plan. God tells us that even the hairs on our head are numbered... and he won't lose any of it. So, death is only temporary. He can bring us all back in the resurrection. And calamities are terrifying, but also they cause a lot of change... hopefully good change. Things that lead us closer to where God is leading the whole earth.
The really terrifying thing is to not be able to say this in the end. To say instead something like... "well, I wasted my life pretty much, but we'll see." And to then have to wonder what life will be like later... or even worse, to be really evil and to be scared that God will judge us for what we've done.
Today, let's live our lives so that we can someday say this. So that we can stand before God with confidence, knowing that we did what we could. Is that easy? No way. But how cool would it be? Amazingly cool... so let's try. :) We'll screw up along the way, guaranteed. But as long as we don't give up, and we don't lose heart... as long as we keep repenting and working to do better, to learn, to become more than we are... we'll all be able to meet together at that day and rejoice, rather than fearing any of it. :)