8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
The present condition of the believer is physical separation from God (2 Co 5:6), but one day when the Christian dies, he or she will be with the Lord. Verses 8 and 9 unpack what it means to be “away from the Lord” and what life by faith resembles.
8 We are confident,
Paul repeated the word “confident” from verse 6. The term also occurs in 2 Corinthians 7:16; 10:1, 2. The apostle had the assurance that he would be with the Lord one day. This is a God-given audacity.
The word “yes” or “indeed” indicates the team’s longing to be with the Lord (Php 1:23).
The pleasure of Paul was to go to be forever with the Lord.
rather to be absent from the body
Absence from the body is the believer’s death. Only a cocoon is left behind.
and to be present with the Lord.
When Christians die, they enter into the Lord’s presence (Php 1:23). At death, the Christian immediately, instantaneously goes to be with the Lord (2 Co 5:8).
It was the great anticipation of Paul to be with the Lord (Php 1:21). Yet, God kept him alive to serve the body of Christ (Php 1:24-26). It would be better to be with the Lord, but that is not the option while God has a purpose for us on earth.
The ultimate priority of the Christian is to be in the Lord’s presence and fellowship with Him.
The moment Christians die, they are ushered into the presence of the Lord. They live their lives in light of what will ultimately happen to them. Obtaining a glimpse of resurrection life radically alters our values.
Our ambition should be to please the Lord by walking by faith (2 Co 5:7, 9). Our focus is not on our immediate problems (Ro 8:24-25; 2 Co 11:23-29). We apply the principles and promises of Scripture by faith. We take God at His Word. We know that “all things work together for good” because we trust God’s sovereign hand on our lives.