I heard it again this weekend.
“The best is yet to come!”
Is it? Is “the best” really on the horizon? “The best is yet to come” has become a popular saying from the pulpit, a meme, a catchy catch phrase. It’s meant to encourage. And maybe even to sell books.
I’m all about encouraging people. I want people to look forward and not behind. I want them to look on the positive side of things. I like the flower – not the thorns. I like the half full glass – not the half empty glass. I like the sunrise, spring, promise. I really do. Ask my friends and they’ll tell you I can take the stupidest situation and find the silly. I can make dire seem “something like less desperate.” I can see the good – even in the heartache.
I want people to be encouraged in the difficult times but I would never tell someone “the best is yet to come!” When I hear the oft-used phrase, I can’t help but bristle and wonder if the phrase does more damage than good.
I know it sounds like a great way to encourage others to raise your voice and say, “The best is yet to come!” But what if the best doesn’t show up? What if “worse” happens? What if a whole lot of “worse” happens? Then we run the risk of possibly causing people to actually lose heart. To become jaded and confused. I’ve seen some lose their faith altogether.
What if a child gets sick and doesn’t get well? What if a sibling dies? What if you lose that job you were so dependent on? What if someone never walks again? What if you get a bad diagnosis? What if the baby dies? What if the husband walks out and never comes back? What if the kid never kicks the addiction? What if the prodigal never comes back?
How is that the best?
In our society, “the best” is usually thought of as wealth and health and happiness. Successful marriage. Successful business. Successful career. Successful family life.
I know we can say – even if things look bad, better days are coming. But why don’t we say something like – “even though I’m slayed, yet will I hope in him?” (That’s actually a Bible verse. Job 13:15. The other catch-phrase is not a Bible verse.)
Wouldn’t it be better to encourage people to know God is near – even in the bad times? Even in the dark times? What about encouraging people to press in to the Lord, hang on to His faithful promises and trust God in the dark times – because the dark times may stay dark for a while? What about reminding people the Light of the World is with them in the darkest of dark times?
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while
you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 1 Peter 1:6
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world
you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion.
For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. Isaiah 30:18
I think we should adopt “God will be with you no matter what! Life might really suck but God will stand beside you!” That way, if “the best” – which is usually defined by the world, doesn’t come, people will still be encouraged and hope-filled.
I guess a book call “Life will suck, but God…” probably wouldn’t sell many books or make a good t-shirt.
What do you think?