In the circles in which I move, nobody much envies dead people. “Poor Benny,” they say. “He was sick for so long.” “Poor Louise. She had a hard life.
Actually you would do well to be one of the Christian dead. If you died a believer in Jesus Christ, the book of Revelation calls you blessed: “Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the LORD from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them’” (14:13).
Labor in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. In fact, we will have plenty of work to do in heaven—interesting, challenging, creative, fulfilling work. It’s the dreariness of our labor here on earth that is so draining, labor that’s unappreciated, mindlessly repetitive, pointless, misused, insufficiently compensated, and criticized. How blessed are they who are finally done with that phase of their existence—finally set free for joyful service!
It gets better for the Christian dead—their deeds follow them, that is, the good things they did on earth will finally get recognized by Christ himself! We all (quite rightly) expect to get yelled at when we appear at the Pearly Gates. In fact, on the day of judgment, the only thing you will hear from the King is, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your Master’s happiness.”