The Best Is Yet to Be
The best of this world pales in comparison to the glory awaiting those who know God’s grace in Jesus Christ.
Today’s reading: Proverbs 21-22; 2 Corinthians 4
4 The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4
14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4:14-15
In Old Testament times, much of the focus of God’s commands and promises was on the way of wisdom and blessing in this life. Proverbs holds out much hope for reward for those who are humble and reverent before God. He has made a covenant with Israel to be their God, to keep them as His special people, to forgive their sins as they repent before Him and keep His law.
But behind these great covenant promises was an even greater ultimate end. God would send the Messiah. He would be the King in the lineage of David. He would also be the Suffering Servant, the Lamb of God, who would be pierced and crushed so that we might be healed and have peace (Isaiah 53).
All this was still in the future at the time of Proverbs. Meanwhile, the faithful would heed the call to humility and the fear of the Lord. Many would see a reward in this life, but not all.
Then, came the Lord Jesus Christ proclaiming, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15). The old covenant kingdom of Israel was a mere shadow of the Kingdom of God.
Paul resisted it until he could resist no more, confronted as he was on the road to Damascus by Christ Himself (Acts 9:1-31). Now Paul tells the good news of the resurrection. God’s grace was going out to more and more people. Thanksgiving shouts went up everywhere that grace went and God was being glorified in places like Corinth, where darkness had ruled with an iron hand.
Down through the centuries the gospel that promises life through the resurrected Christ has been proclaimed to the ends of the earth. Do not lose heart! Jesus told us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come.” (Matthew 6:10). He is answering that prayer as the gospel goes forth and grace is received by millions in the most unlikely places. Most of all, God is glorified. If you are blessed with riches and honor and life in this world, rejoice! But remember, the best is yet to be when we enter into His kingdom and glory forever.