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How can I overcome the fear of death?

The fear of death is universal. Even believers, who can be secure in their eternal fate, may still experience an ugly fear of death, but we do not have to fall victim to that fear. God never wanted us to die, but after sin entered the world, death became necessary. In a way, death is a grace, otherwise, we would have to live in a sinful world forever.

We do not need fear the end of our life on earth, because we have been given victory over spiritual death by Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. But even when we understand that Jesus defeated death, we may still be plagued with that nagging fear. Why does death scare us so much?

Death Takes Us into the Unknown

The fear of not knowing what exactly happens at the moment of death or when it's coming can cause us to be afraid. Will it be painful? Will I see my life flash before my eyes? Will I die young or old? Will it be a result of a disease or accident? Since we cannot predict the future, the circumstances of our deaths are unknown until we're right there. The fear of not knowing how and when we are going to die may cause great anxiety.

Everyone will have to die because it is a part of life. When believers die, they enter Heaven to be with God forever (Philippians 3:20-21). The Bible tells us that, at the moment of death, we are immediately with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23). We will remain in Heaven with our Creator until we are resurrected by God and transitioned into our glorified bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Death Removes Control

The fear of losing control troubles many. We all like to have control over our lives, and when we don’t have control, we tend to get afraid. Just like the disciple Peter, we have to give control over to God. Peter disowned Jesus three times out of fear. After Jesus had risen from the dead, Peter gave all control over to God at last. He was finally able to impact the world for Jesus in a way he never was able to before when he refused to surrender (Acts 5:17-42).

Give your desire to control everything over to God and trust Him. He has never failed in fulfilling one of His promises because He is faithful. We can trust Him to be in complete control of our lives—from birth to death.

What about my unsaved family and friends?

The fear of what happens to the unsaved can create a deep fear of death. Believers are concerned for their loved ones who fail to accept Jesus’ gift of salvation. We're afraid of being permanently cut off from them, never seeing them again. Instead of being afraid of our unsaved loved ones never accepting Christ, we should instead use this as a motivation to help them know Christ while they still live.

Build strong relationships, live your life as Christ did, and consistently share the Gospel. Whether a person accepts Christ is not something we cannot control, but we can trust that God will use our planted seeds (John 6:44). While you still have breath, there's no reason not to share the Gospel at every opportunity God brings.

Preparing for Death: Practical, Physical & Spiritual Steps

Taking some steps to prepare for death can help us overcome that fear too. Ensure that you're taking some practical steps, such as repairing relationships or making sure that anyone who depends on you will be looked after. Physical steps include writing a will and making sure your family is aware of any decisions you wish to make concerning possessions or medical care.

Spiritual steps are perhaps the most important because our decisions in this life determine if we will be seated at the feet of Christ upon death. If you haven't accepted Jesus as your Savior, why not do so today?

This world will eventually be destroyed, but we have our home with God in Heaven and in the Eternal State (2 Peter 3:10-13). It can be hard to understand sometimes, but this world is not our home (Hebrews 13:14). We need to keep our minds on things above and focus on loving and serving Jesus as long as we live (Colossians 3:2). Death does not need to scare us because Jesus has already defeated death and has overcome the world (John 16:33).

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TL;DR

Many things that can make us afraid of death, such as lack of control over when and how we will die, wondering what will happen to loved ones after we're gone, and not knowing what to expect in death. But we can overcome these fears by trusting God and taking practical, physical, and spiritual steps. Rather than focusing on death, focus on loving and serving Jesus while you still have life. Acknowledge that this world is not your home because your citizenship is in Heaven (Philippians 3:20-21). Let’s live in the truth that God is faithful and that He will bring us safely to His heavenly kingdom the moment we die (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).

By: Vivian Bricker

Vivian loves learning, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She is dedicated to helping people learn more about Jesus and is ready to help in any way she can. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, cooking, drawing, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, you can find her soaking up the sunshine or going on an adventure.

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