Shirley Wilson ’67: The Sting | Highlander Devotional

June 7, 2019

“Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. —1 Corinthians 15:55-56

Whether you have an allergy to bee stings or not, the experience of being stung causes a pain that you will not easily forget. Two aspects of a bee sting cause the pain. First, the stinger itself, like a tiny sword, contains a sharp barbed point that stays in the skin until you remove it. Secondly, the venom causes a chemical reaction within one’s body producing pain and swelling.

St. Paul used the “sting” to illustrate the experience of sin and death. He paired these two poisons in Romans 6:23, when he wrote:

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We can easily see how death carries a “sting.” No one can dispute that this ending point comes to us as the ultimate battle that we face. As believers in the Lord Jesus, however, we are assured of the absence of the “sting” of this enemy.

Christ Has Softened the Sting

If you have experienced the death of a loved one who lived as a follower of and believer in Christ, you know that the terror, no matter how terrible the death, has been softened as a result of the sacrifice Christ made for us on the cross. Jesus dealt with the victory of death when He died on the cross and rose again from the dead.

We, as humans, experience many other kinds of “stinging” events in our lives. We know the pain of scary medical diagnoses, the loss of jobs, difficult financial straits, legal battles, and numerous other kinds of disappointments.

Sometimes, we have faith to believe all that God has told us in His word concerning our experience of death. But, in the midst of our particular trials, we fail to realize that He has also removed the “stinger” from these lesser struggles.

Reason with me that the God who has power over death also has power over all other events in our lives. In response, let us resolve today, to face all of life and death by trusting our God to remove the venom from each powerful heartbreak. We must remember that He has removed the sting!

Shirley (Willink) Wilson is a member of the Class of ’67, and the author of the blog Musings in a Major Key.

Highlander Devotionals are contributed by members of the broader Houghton community, including our worldwide alumni family. These reflections are a testament to the continued, transforming work of Jesus Christ in the lives of alumni and others who have called Houghton “home.”