“But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:16).
ALL OF THE FAITHFUL PEOPLE OF GOD IN THE SCRIPTURES WERE FORWARD-LOOKING PEOPLE. They looked for “a better, that is, a heavenly country.” And such a dream was not merely a dream; they looked forward to something that is one day going to be an objective reality. God “has prepared a city for them,” and not being physical hardly makes that city any less real. If anything, it will be more real than the city in which we live right now.
For those in a right relationship with God, it is always true to say that “the best is yet to be.” History is moving toward a grand culmination. In God, there is meaning and significance to this life. There is a vision of great goodness ahead and progress toward the realization of that vision. In God, there is the hope of total joy!
To say that the best is yet to be is to say a lot, because the present can be very good indeed. And certainly, no one ought to enjoy the good things in this world more than God’s people. But what is coming is so much better! With regard to the blessings God has in store for those who are found “in Christ,” we really do have a wonderful problem: trying to stretch our imaginations wide enough to take in just how good it’s going to be. “God’s best gifts put man’s best dreams to shame” (Elizabeth Barrett Browning).
So our focus needs to be forward. After all, life only moves in one direction: from beginning to end. And since the end is the goal that everything else is reaching forward to, we can honestly say that the “end of a thing is better than its beginning” (Ecclesiastes 7:8). In his familiar poem, Robert Browning said the “last of life” is that “for which the first was made.” May we accept that for the wonderful truth it is. For those who are in God through Jesus Christ, the best is always yet to be. On even the best day we’ve ever enjoyed in this present world, the best is still yet to be.
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in his hand,
Who saith, “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God:
See all, nor be afraid.”