Wait what? Why is sanctification on that list? What could these three have in common? Thanks for asking :) I think we'd agree that the first two are inevitable. For most every human, those two words impact our daily lives. Take my taxes for example (please, someone, anyone take em!) Like it or not, we all gotta pay taxes (let's be honest, the person who likes taxes doesn't exist). However, Jesus instructed his followers to pay their taxes, even to the oppressive Roman government.
On a more serious note, let's examine death. Whether it's someone in the news or someone you love, hollowed hopes or dashed dreams, the ever-present, all-encompassing presence of death infiltrates every moment of this temporal life. Sin contaminates, destroys and reminds us all that death respects no one.
So far, I think we (you the reader, I the writer) agree on death and taxes. But that doesn't answer your first question, how does sanctification fit in with the undesirable yet inescapable duo?
Answer: For believers, sanctification is inescapable. What is sanctification? Simply put, it is the transforming work of the Holy Spirit within believers to shape them into the image of Jesus Christ. God is continually growing me and continually growing you, if you are a believer. So, maybe I should rephrase the title? For Believers, Death. Taxes. Sanctification. Regardless of the title wording, this truth should greatly encourage you in at least two ways.
First, God is deeply interested in transforming you and completing that transformation. He refuses to leave you and me as we are but changes us into something far more glorious. What a comforting truth, that He constantly controls circumstances to change my character to be more Christlike. I can always have hope and confidence through every situation in my life because God the Creator, Sustainer, Shepherd, Rock, Fortress, King (the list goes on) orchestrates every "obstacle" in my life as an opportunity for this sanctification. Because my God loves me, I have hope he won't abandon me but will continue the good work he began in me until I see Him!
Second, God is deeply interested in every believer! Is this repetitively redundant? Maybe. But, I believe it's worth the risk of redundancy to extrapolate this important principle. You can, or might I boldly say, you must hope and believe that God will not leave other believers where they are but, will steadily sculpt and shape our spiritual siblings through this sanctification. Therefore, I shouldn't pigeonhole my brothers and sisters, refusing to believe that they can change. Because of the gospel, I CAN'T hold this mindset. To do so grossly distorts the reality of God's persistent, transforming grace. Because my God loves all his children, I can, I must believe he won't abandon any of my brothers and sisters in his quest for their Christlikeness.
Traveling with the Coffeys shaped my view of the Christian life in intangible yet unforgettable ways. My hope in the gospel, as well as my knowledge of the transforming power of the gospel - this sanctification, impacts every day of my walk with God. I hope and pray that these thoughts help to realign your hope with the good news that God the Father is changing lives into His Son's image through His Holy Spirit one day, one obstacle, one interruption, one truth at a time. May God bless you and keep you as you love Him and love others.