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Philippians 1:23

ESV I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.
NIV I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;
NASB But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;
CSB I am torn between the two. I long to depart and be with Christ--which is far better--
NLT I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.
KJV For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

What does Philippians 1:23 mean?

Paul continues describing his dilemma. Living means serving Christ, gaining rewards, and giving Him glory. At the same time, death means an end to suffering and an eternity with God. In heaven with the Lord, there will be no more sin, no pain, and no crying of any kind (Revelation 21—22). This is certainly something believers should desire. It's encouraging, in times of trouble, to know this is our destiny (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

There has always been tension, for believers, between these seemingly opposed desires. On one hand is our desire to please God, and bring others to Christ. On the other hand, there is the rest and victory of heaven. The solution to this problem has always been the same: our lives are meant to serve others (Philippians 1:24), not ourselves. When we put God's will, and the needs of others, before our own will and needs, we can faithfully live focused on God's work. The timing of our heavenly arrival is in God's hands.
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