The Best is Yet to Come!
About 10 to 15 years ago, I was meeting with the staff of FIRE School of Ministry, sharing with them my excitement. My wife, Nancy, who was also part of our team, then said to everyone with a smile, “No, it’s real this time. Something is really happening.”
You see, by nature and divine gifting, I am a perpetual optimist. For me, today is good and tomorrow will be better. For me, the first half of my salad was enjoyable but the second half will be even more enjoyable, even though it’s the exact same salad. For me, always and without fail, the best is yet to come.
Now, as Nancy lightheartedly pointed out to the staff, there can be a downside to this kind of attitude. Perhaps I’m just being upbeat. Perhaps nothing is really happening (or about to happen). Perhaps I’m not being realistic.
Thankfully, Nancy’s ultra-realism (which can tend towards pessimism), along with the realities of life’s struggles, helps balance out my ultra-optimism.
A Biblical Basis for Hope
But in the large scale of things, there is a strong, biblical basis for my hope. Our God is King. Jesus is Lord. His ways will triumph in the end! There are strong and solid reasons for our faith.
The kingdom of God is here. The kingdom of God is advancing. The kingdom of God will fill the earth. The best is yet to come!
As for the struggles and trials through which we pass, some of them tragic and painful beyond words, here too we have reason for hope. As Paul wrote, “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3–5).
We also “know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). In all things, our Father is at work for our good — our present good and our lasting good.
That means that stumbling blocks can become stepping stones. And it means that whatever Satan or the world bring against us for evil can be turned around for our benefit and growth. I believe God!
Jesus truly is Lord, and when we lean on Him, no matter what our life circumstances may be, there can be confidence and peace, joy and comfort, faith and victory. As He said to His disciples shortly before His crucifixion, “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Hope Even in Death
Even in death there is great hope, as witnessed by the dying words of Christian leaders.
I think of John Wesley saying, “The best of all is, God is with us.”
I think of John “Praying” Hyde exclaiming, “Shout the victory of Jesus Christ!”
I think of Catherine Booth declaring, “The waters are rising, but so am I. I am not going under, but over. Do not be concerned about dying; go on living well and the dying will be right.”
This is also why I am constantly encouraged, even in the midst of societal deterioration and spiritual backsliding: We are God’s children, His precious family. In Him, hope springs eternal.
Reasons to Hope
As for the present, chaotic world in which we live, I have reason to be encouraged.
First, we gave warnings that this season was coming, so we’re not surprised to be living in it today.
Second, we know that the same God who showed us what was coming is the same God who can turn the tide. We can still witness a mighty, national, move of revival and reformation.
Third, no matter how bad things get, the Spirit is still moving mightily, and every day, He is working miracles and changing lives. We have reason to rejoice!
Fourth, even in the midst of evil and darkness, there is fullness of joy in the Lord’s presence (Psalm 16:11), and His joy is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). That’s why Paul could urge the Philippians to rejoice always, even while he sat in chains in a dungeon (Philippians 3:1; 4:4). He rejoiced too, even in the midst of his sufferings (Philippians 1:18; 2:17; Colossians 1:24; see also Acts 16:22-25).
Then, of course, there is this simple, ultimate reality: For all true believers in Jesus there is the certain hope of eternal life. Yes, the best really is still to come, and eternal, glorious, perfect future with our God and His people.
The Best is Yet to Come
This past Friday, Nancy and I received a beautiful card from our oldest grandchild, inviting us to her high school graduation later this month. We can hardly believe she’s 18 and about to head off to Liberty University!
Of course, this date has been on our calendar for months, so the card was a formality. But it featured beautiful pictures of our precious granddaughter (pictures taken by Nancy, who’s a gifted photographer) with the date and time of the graduation.
And it closed with a quote, which has become our granddaughter’s slogan: “The best is yet to come.”
Yes, those are now her words too. I write this with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.
The spirit of faith lives on! The best is yet to come!