John Piper is founder and teacher that usmam.org and chancellor of Bethlehem college & Seminary. Because that 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is writer of an ext than 50 books, consisting of Desiring God: Meditations the a Christian Hedonist and also most newly Providence.

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John Piper is founder and teacher of usmam.org and also chancellor the Bethlehem college & Seminary. Because that 33 years, he served as minister of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The is author of more than 50 books, consisting of Desiring God: Meditations the a Christian Hedonist and also most newly Providence.

When a Christian dies, chandelier those of us who remain weep or rejoice? The biblical price is both, even simultaneously.

I observed this in a brand-new place together I was memorizing my way through Philippians again. I had actually never noticed prior to the emotionally contrast between Philippians 2:17–18 and also 2:27.

An invite to Rejoice

In Philippians 2:17–18, Paul is explicate the possibility of his own fatality as “drink offering on the sacrificial offering” of their faith. He is willing to dice in the service of strengthening and also purifying your faith.

Then that says, if the happens, “I am glad and rejoice v you all. An in similar way you also should be glad and rejoice v me” (verse 18). Not only does he rejoice at the possibility of his own death, yet he speak them to rejoice with him.

He currently told castle why he rejoices at the prospect of his death: “My desire is to depart and be through Christ, for that is much better” (Philippians 1:23). Presumably, that is why he think they need to rejoice also. They love Paul. So once Paul is “with Christ” that will certainly be “far better.”

Jesus speak this same way to his disciples: “If you love me, you would have rejoiced, since I to be going come the Father, because that the dad is greater than I” (John 14:28). The dad in splendor is greater than the son in suffering. What a liberation to be coming once the boy work here is done and he return to the Father’s glory! So, he says, if girlfriend love me, rejoice at my departure.

Experiencing extreme Sorrow

But the is not the totality story. Ten verses later in Philippians 2 Paul praises Epaphroditus due to the fact that “he almost died for the job-related of Christ” (verse 30). However then that did not die. And also Paul is glad. This is what he says: “Indeed he to be ill, near to death. However God had mercy ~ above him, and not only on him however on me also, lest i should have sorrow top top sorrow” (verse 27).

God had mercy ~ above Paul, lest that should have actually sorrow upon sorrow. In other words, the did no let Epaphroditus dice so that Paul would certainly not have that grief on top of every his other burdens.

So as soon as Paul said, “Rejoice v me,” in ~ the prospect of his own death (Philippians 2:18), the was no the whole emotional story. Paul would have actually experienced “grief top top grief” if Epaphroditus had actually died. And this is not due to the fact that Epaphroditus was unprepared to die. He was as ready as Paul: “Honor such men, because that he virtually died for the job-related of Christ” (2:30).

The complicated Harmony

What should we conclude native this?

We have to conclude that our sorrows in ~ the death of a believer space joyful sorrows, and also our rejoicing at the death of a believer is a sorrowful rejoicing. Over there is nothing hopeless about the sorrow. And there is nothing flippant around the joy. The joy hurts. And also the woe is softened with invincible hope.

This is why among the most common watchwords the the Christian life is “sorrowful yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10). Sorrow and also joy space not merely sequential. They space simultaneous. This is no emotional schizophrenia. This is the complicated harmony of the Christian soul.

Therefore, once a Christian dies, don’t begrudge the tears. And also don’t belittle the happiness in the lover’s eyes.

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JohnPiper) is founder and also teacher that usmam.org and also chancellor that Bethlehem college & Seminary. Because that 33 years, he offered as minister of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. That is author of much more than 50 books, consisting of Desiring God: Meditations that a Christian Hedonist and also most recently Providence.