Today we lost a giant man of faith, Jerry Bridges. I remember as a teenager reading my first Jerry Bridges book and being helped then, and now by his writing. Over the years, I’ve continued to read his books and listen to the talks he would give and always being helped by what he would say and write.

Recently two of my friends have gone to be with the Lord which has caused me to think once again about my limitations and to examine my life in light of Christ afresh. Doing this has caused me to thank the Lord that He has grown me in many areas of my life. It has also made me realize that I have a long way to go in my growth in Christ. As I’ve gone through this process, I’ve also begun to be more thankful for the opportunities the Lord has provided for me and continues to provide to minister to people.

Jerry Bridges is not the first great man of God to die, and he won’t be the last. We all have our time to live and die. Our time here on earth is precious and valuable. Jerry Bridges taught us as Christians much about what it means to fear God, to walk with God, and to shine the light of Jesus in a dark world for Christ. Above all, I believe Jerry would call us to faithfulness to Christ because of the gospel in our day. Death is not the final note on Jerry’s life but rather the beginning for Jerry and every true Christian.

To the Christian death is not the last song but the rather the first. When we stand before the Lord, we will worship Him with the myriads upon myriads of saints before the Throne of God. We will sing, we will learn, and we will finally get answers to the questions we thought were so important. At the end of the day though even the answers to our questions that seemed so important to us won’t matter. We will see Jesus face to face. We will behold Him, bow before Him, and exalt in the Lord Jesus. Jerry is there now with his Lord before His face as are my two friends and many family members.

Maybe today you are struggling with the death of a loved one or another issue in your life. Can I encourage you to take that to Jesus right now? He knows the weight of your burdens and the struggles of your heart. He knows the questions you have, the issues you are facing, and the load you are carrying. It’s so easy to check the box and say and even sing, “It is well with my soul.” Jesus makes heavy burdens, light burdens.

Let me ask you today, “Is it truly well with your soul right now?” Are you walking in an abiding relationship with Christ today? You see it’s easy to say everything is well on the inside when the storm rages all around you. God wants His people not to fake it till we make it but to remove the masks because He has given us His life and now His Spirit lives within us as His people. The joy of the Lord is not just another thing to the Christian. Rather, the joy of the Lord is to be our response to the difficulty of life and trials.

Let me challenge you as I conclude this post. It’s not enough to say all the right words as a Christian. Let that never be enough for you or me. Instead, let’s remove the masks, take them off, and instead be real. Let’s realize that we all have a lot to learn and a lot of growth to do in our lives. Let’s abandon our pride and instead adopt a posture of humility because of the gospel we’ve received. Let’s give thanks to God for the great men of God like Jerry Bridges and many others who’ve passed before us. May we now take up their mantle and be men and women of God ourselves.

If we’ve learned anything from those who’ve gone before us in the faith it’s that—they walked with God. May that ever be said of us as we endeavor to bring glory to Christ because of the gospel in all we say, think, and do to the glory of our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.