“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour : yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart , and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.“ –Phil. 1:21-24
Paul, and anyone else who knows what the Bible teaches, prefers heaven over earth. For the Christian “to die is gain” because heaven with Christ “is far better”. It’s no contest! However, those who care about people who are lost, and God’s plan, are willing to wait and work until God is through with them. But, being in the flesh often leads to weariness—work weariness and world weariness,etc.
I know what hard physical labor is–been there done that. I know what it is to be weary from work, and I can tell you that it is actually a good kind of weariness. You feel good about yourself– that you’re no afraid of hard work, you sleep better, and your over all health tends to be better. But there is another kind of weariness that isn’t so beneficial. I’m talking about being world weary– fed up with the ways of the world. It is a weariness that weighs you down and wears you out.
As a boy I never really understood why my mother was always singing “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through”–that seemed crazy to me, but I understand now. Christians are pilgrims and strangers in the world and we cannot feel at home. As Jesus said, we are in the world, but not of the world. And, considering our weakness, it is only natural that we grow weary.
As a boy I thought exploring the world and seeing all the sights would be great. But, the longer I live and the more I see, the more I realize that this world has nothing of eternal value, nothing that satisfies the longing of the soul. Could we just be left alone with family and friends it would be better, although not perfect. But we live in a sinful and hostile environment. Everyday we are confronted with things that grieve our hearts. We are grieved because we know it could and should be better. Our compassion causes us to care. If we had no concern there would be no grief,—but neither would there be any goodness. So when we see crime in the streets, corruption in the Whitehouse, craziness in Ferguson, collapsing morals, conflict around the world, and complacency in the churches we get weary—world weary. To say, “I’m fed up with the world” is an understatement! But to quit is not an option. Love for God compels us to press on.
Since weariness can be dangerous, it is crucial that we realize what the remedy is. Fortunately God has revealed that to us. It is described in Heb. 12:1-3, and summed up like this–“looking unto Jesus“. Our holiness, happiness, helpfulness, and hope depends on this. If we faint we fall, and if we fall we fail. It is only by keeping our focus on Christ that we can remain faithful. If we succeed it is against all odds and only because the Lord is our Helper. Without Him we could do nothing. Because of Him we are able to press on, encouraged by the fact that He will say,”Well done”.