The Best is yet to come

“Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.” (Job 14:1) That sounds pretty negative and pessimistic, doesn’t it? Well in a sense, it’s all that any of us can expect. Living with a fallen nature in a fallen world can be difficult and full of trouble. But is that all there is? The apostle Paul writes, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men, most miserable.” (1 Corinthians 15:19) As believers, we know that there is more than just the three score and ten years of this life. Our hope is for that which is to come.

The natural man is indeed without God, without Christ, and without hope in this world. That’s a pretty bleak outlook, and unfortunately even Christians sometimes mirror that outlook and sing the blues along with everyone else as though they have no hope…as though this physical life is all that there is.

The Apostle Paul understood the hopelessness of this life of trouble and faced it realistically. He recognized the weakness of the flesh, but balanced that with what is yet to be accomplished in the Spirit. “Though our outward man (the physical) perish (is dying), yet the inward man (the spiritual) is renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16) And then he went on to write, “For our light affliction (trouble), which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) The bottom line then for the believer, is that the best is yet to come. There is a happy ending!

As believers in this dispensation of Grace, there’s nothing that says that we are programmed to escape trials and tribulations. We are not exempt from sorrow, disappointment, suffering, disease, or accidents. But we are equipped to survive in a fallen world. And beyond that, to look forward to when we will be with the Lord forever and ever in Glory; not because of what we’ve done or not done, but by God’s marvelous Grace and all that was accomplished on our behalf by the crosswork of Christ. “God who cannot lie, has promised us eternal life.” (Titus 1:2)

Rather than be distracted or defeated by the troubles of this life, the Apostle Paul writes, “For me to live is Christ,” and quickly adds, “and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) He has no reluctance to live, which to him means to serve Christ. And, further, he has no reluctance to die. For dying means to be present with the Lord, which is far better. To be sure, even in a fallen world, with all of the difficulties that we may encounter, there is much pleasure and much happiness that comes our way. But all of the pleasures and happiness of a whole lifetime cannot be compared to the joy to be experienced in one moment of that which is “far better.”

Only the believer in Christ can truthfully say, “And to die is gain.” For only the believer has the assurance that at death or rapture they will be ushered into Heaven’s glory. “And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17) No room for hopelessness. No room for despair. Be encouraged, and encourage one another. The “blessed hope” is ours. The best is yet to come.

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