For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. (Philippians 1:21-23)
"Let them complain of the brevity of this earthly life whose portion is below, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame. They have all their hope in the things of this world. Beyond the horizon of the things of this present time, even the vision of their hope perishes. In the world they prosper. With the world they seek to be satisfied. To the world they cling with all their might. This world they dread to leave. For them the way through this world is all too brief. They may complain that time hastens on and that the end approaches too fast, but I will not.
The end of my days on the earth, although it is the end of much in this earthly house that is dear to me, is also the liberation from all that is a cause of grief to the inward man. It is the end of the body of this death, the end of the law of sin in my members that takes me captive, so that I do not what I would and often find myself doing that which I hate. It is the end of all my connection with the world that is crucified to me and I to it— the world with its glitter and vainglory, its temptations and persecutions, its boast of victory, and its prospering in iniquity. It is the end of my being exposed to the temptations of the devil and his host, the end of death and of the suffering of this present time, the end of the battle, and the end of all apparent defeat.
How many, then, are the days of thy servant, the days of battle and of the suffering of this present time?
I long for the end of them, for that end marks the beginning of everything for which my soul longs.
Beyond that end, I know and am persuaded, lies the glory of the eternal inheritance. There I expect perfection, freedom, life, victory, and glory. There I know that I will be in God’s tabernacle and see him face-to-face, as here I cannot see him . There I will respond with my whole being— body and soul, mind and will, heart and all my desires; eye and ear, mouth, hand, foot, and all my members— eternally, perfectly, in a heavenly fashion and on a heavenly plane, to that perfect vision of God. There I shall know even as I am known.
Beyond that end is the perfect being and fellowship with Christ and with his saints.
There is the incorruptible and undefilable inheritance that fades not away.
There I expect the new heavens and the new earth in which righteousness shall dwell.
How long, O Lord?"
(Herman Hoeksema, Ch. 14, How Long, Lord?, Peace for the Troubled Heart)