When life gets hard and things change for what seems like the worst, it’s tempting to think you’ve already lived the best days of your life.
I can understand why at a certain age people’s conversations become focused on reminiscing about the “good ol’ days.”
But is this the way we should live as followers of Jesus? Should we live as if our best days are behind us? As if what is to come will never measure up to the stories we can tell on strolls down memory lane?
This way of thinking makes sense if we don’t know the hope and promises Jesus brings.
To cling to every good thing as if another one will never come again makes sense without Jesus. But for followers of Jesus, here are four reasons why we can be sure our best days are always ahead. They may not be our easiest days, but they will be the best.
1. Jesus is the God of the new.
Jesus didn’t come to leave us the way we are. He came to make things new. To make us new.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
When Paul explains what it looks like to be reconciled to Christ he says, “the new is here.” Not that we have to wait for it later on. It’s here now.
Of course, we know that the fullness of what Jesus is to do in our life is not completed. But that newness has already begun. It will continue throughout your life and will be revealed in its fullness when Jesus returns.
What Jesus is doing in your life is not a one-time sense of newness. He has begun to make things new for you and continues to do it every day of your life.
Sometimes this promise seems far removed from our everyday life. But it isn’t. Among the mundanity of your daily life, Jesus is making things new. He is working in your life and changing you. Your whole person is being made more like Jesus.
With a promise like that, we can rest assured that our future will always be better than our past. Jesus is always at work in us to never let us rest in our old self, because he has so much more for us.
Does that mean the newness we are called into will be easy? No. It might be terribly hard. But it does mean that the new will be better than the old. That’s the truth every single time.
2. Your memory isn’t as clear as God’s is.
When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they were less than thrilled. Kind of weird, right?
We get to see their situation from the vantage point of the whole picture, so it seems crazy that they would respond the way they did. But Egypt was all they knew. And as terrible as it was, it became comfortable. To step out into something new is terrifying and even crippling. So much so that the people even began to glorify their time in Egypt. They spent a lot of time talking about how great it was there and how wonderful their lives were.
“And the people of Israel also wept again and said, ‘Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.’” (Numbers 11:4-5)
It really seems like they were forgetting that their time in Egypt was spent in slavery and forced labor. Not only did they forget the difficulty of their lives and how harsh it was, but they even embellished the positive aspects of what they left behind. It’s not incredibly likely that they were eating the best of meats in Egypt. And certainly nothing came to them for free.
Sometimes when God pulls us out of what we know–out of our old selves–our memory becomes a bit warped. We “remember” less than desirable situations as being good ones.
It is so hard for us to embrace and welcome the newness God is bringing into our lives. That’s why, at some point, we begin to reflect on the “glory days” that others plainly see weren’t actually that great.
In order to see the days before you as better than what lay behind, we have to view “what has been” through the lens of God’s plan.
3. God’s not done with you yet.
Whether you’re 10 or 85, God is not done with you. As long as there is still breath in your lungs, God still has plans for your life.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
The work God began is referring to the work currently being done in your life. You can rest assured that you will see a day when this work is completed. But there are glimpses of its completion now.
God is on a mission with your life and he will see it through to completion. So, most definitely, your best days are yet to come.
4. God’s goodness is new every day.
Surely you’ve already seen God’s goodness in your life. So you can expect to see it again and again.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
God’s goodness in your life never stops. He doesn’t cease being good to his people because of their life circumstances. His goodness will continue to be poured out in your life. Not because of anything we do but because of his faithfulness.
God is good and he is good all the time. Day after day his mercy is poured out onto you.
Our best days are still ahead of us because Jesus’ work of redemption is being carried out day after day. He won’t be done with you until his work is complete.