The Best Is Yet To Be
by Tommy Thornhill

From observing people it would seem that the declaration of this nation's founding fathers that the pursuit of happiness as an "unalienable right" of mankind takes precedence over what God's word clearly reveals. They have taken it for granted that being happy is their God-given right, regardless of how it is gained. While they may find momentary happiness they never attain true happiness for they don't know where it is found. They are deluded into thinking that it is found in the things of this world such as possessions, power, wealth, sensual satisfaction and the like. But even if they gain these things they find themselves still miserable and unsatisfied. People ought to learn from King Solomon. During his life time he possessed everything this old world had to offer. But none of these things brought him the joy, satisfaction and contentment he sought after. In his latter years he wrote Ecclesiastics. In this book, as he notes all his worldly accomplishments, he also repeatedly makes the observation about these things that "all is vanity, and a striving after wind" Eccl.1:14. He has learned that even at their best the things of this world did not bring lasting joy and happiness. They, ("the passing pleasures of sin" Heb.11:25), might be enjoyed for a season, but were short lived and temporary. One could no more find true and lasting happiness and satisfaction with them than one could catch the wind that blows. Just like the world from which they sprang, they will pass away, leaving life unfulfilled.

Centuries later, the apostle John writes, "Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all this in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever" 1.Jn.2:15-17. The unstated, but certainly implied, conclusion in these verses is that there is something much better for the one who does the will of God. Thus, the title for this article.

A man on his death bed is surrounded by his family. As they grieve over his impending departure he tells them, "Don't worry about me, the best is yet to be." Why could he say this? He was a Christian and as such he had a living hope 1.Pet.1:3-5; Phil.3:20-21. In his life as a Christian he had come to understand what life was all about. Through the prism of life's experiences he had learned that the things of this world, no matter how alluring and exciting they might seem to be, were only temporary, and it was foolish to think that the ever changing conditions of this world would bring him lasting happiness. His life was much better spent pursuing things that were soul-saving and eternal. So he had used his life to prepare for the better life to come after death 2.Cor.4:16-18; 5:1-9. He faced death with "a true heart in full assurance of faith" Heb.10:21 with his "hope as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast" Heb.6:19. He was expressing something we all need to know, that "the best is yet to be."

Abraham lived his life of faith on this earth as one who believed the best was yet to be. We are told that when he was called of God to leave his father's he willingly obeyed, "and went out not knowing where he was going." The rest of his life was spent in the land of promise where he lived as a stranger and pilgrim in a foreign country because he knew that something better awaited him when his earthly life was over, "the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God," a homeland found in the heavenly country" Heb.11:8-16.

Paul, after his conversion, gave up many earthly achievements to gain Christ Phil.3:4-11. He endured immense suffering as an apostle of Christ 2.Cor.11:22-28. Yet he never despaired. He had "learned to whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Phil.4:11-13. He went through all these things because he knew the best was yet to be.

How can we today have the assurance that the best is yet to be?  Be fully convinced that God is faithful, that He will do as He promises. Certainly God is faithful (dependable, trustworthy) to keep His promises 1.Cor.1:9; Heb.10:22. There is not one thing that God ever promised that has not come to pass. If that has been true in the past it will also be true in the future for God does not change. He is still alive and active in our lives, "for in Him we live and move and have our being…for we are also His offspring" Acts 17:28

Let's keep looking to that which is beyond the present circumstances of life. Base hope on things eternal, on that which will outlast time. "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, be destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" 2.Cor.4:16-18; 5:1.

Without the attitude that the best is yet to be, one will be content with mediocrity and just drift along with no goal in life. Life will be one of fear, insecurity and hopelessness. On the other hand the one that truly believes that the best is yet to be will live a life that is better and richer. It gives you something to believe in. It will give you a sense of direction and provide you with a reason to live and a hope for the future. This spirit of expectancy becomes your anchor for life.

— From The Etna Enlightner, Vol 1, #7, March 25, 2012