Revelation 21:3-4 (ESV)
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
As the world celebrates the end of 2017 and enters into 2018, it looks toward the conclusion of yet another year. However, God has not been working his plan according to the Gregorian calendar -- but rather according to His own calendar. For example, when Jesus was crucified, and became the Lamb of God slain for the world, it was on the Biblical feast of Passover (Pesach in Hebrew). When He rose again from the dead, His resurrection was precisely on the feast of first fruits. Fifty days later, the Holy Spirit was poured out during the Hebrew Feast of Shevuot or better known as Pentecost. This marked the beginning of the harvest season and we've been in the midst of the great harvest for the past 2000 years. The fall feasts have yet to be fulfilled prophetically, however we as believers are groaning for the world's redemption!
While the world focuses on life now -- on youth, beauty, health and ability -- these things fade away and according to the world, in the autumn of life -- life goes downhill. However, we as believers realize that it's completely the opposite in God. The best is yet to come for those of us who are believers!
In the Chronicles of Narnia, famed Christian author C.S. Lewis so poetically concluded his novel by writing these truths.
"And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."
God is saving the best for last! While things of the world get worse, become old and fade away. The things of God only get better! Rejoice and look toward the day when there is no more death, no more sorrow, and no more pain because in Him all these things will pass away. Make 2018 your best year yet in the Lord! Throw away all the worldly pursuits and pursue God like you've never done before -- because the greatest celebration awaits us!
With another year under our belts as we close out 2017 -- let's go into 2018 remembering that the best is yet to come -- soon enough we'll enter a time where "every chapter is better than the one before!"
Dear Lord, we thank You for the New Year You are giving to us. We pray that as we look at the next chapter we will see that it is better than the chapter before. I the Name of Jesus, Amen.