Here’s to 2019!

In C.S. Lewis’ last book of his famous Narnia series, there is a quote that makes me smile: “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” This statement is made about the journey the kids are making out of their world and into Narnia, which is an allegory of those who would leave the world and enter into heaven. But the statement works in so many other areas of life, especially today as we begin our journey into 2019.

It is a statement of hope. Hope in the future. Hope in better things than current things. It is a statement showing we can find the beauty in the world around us and focus there instead of focusing on the difficulties that hold us down. Hope breathes life into us. Hope causes us to keep going, keep moving, keep trying. And as the Bible says, when we place our hope into the right thing, “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5.5).

It is a statement of trust. If we truly believe that there are better things ahead, there has to be a reason for this. It cannot be because we believe things cannot get worse. Who among us has ever been so low? Until death hits, there is always worse. Disease can become terminal. Depression can become disabling. Distress can become reality. If we believe that the future holds something better, it must be because we believe there is Someone who can make it better. It is a statement that shows trust in the One who holds our future, One who loves us and helps us, One who desires better things for us. It shows that we will not hold on to the past, but are willing to submit our future to our gracious and good God.

It is a statement of confidence. Note the quote didn’t say, “There might be far, far better things....” There ARE.... Confidence. Assurance. Surety. We know that the future ahead of us is better than the past behind us. This is Paul’s attitude in Philippians:

“...for I know this will turn our for my deliverance [from prison] through your prayers and the provision of the spirit of Jesus Christ” (1.20)

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (1.21).

“I hope in the Lord Jesus...” (2.19).

“...I trust in the Lord...” (2.24).   

“I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus...I press on towards the goal...” (3.12, 14).

Paul was clearly a man who lived for the future and not the present. You might point out he had nothing else to live for as he was sitting in prison, but I remind you that he was content “in every circumstance.” Paul instead focused on the far, far better things ahead than the things left behind.

We should do the same. 2019 is ripe with opportunity. It is full of all possible outcomes. There is potential for bad, but there is equal (if not better) potential for good. And we have a God who loves us and will help us pursue the good. This allows us to hope for the best, be confident in the God who is the Best, and trust that He is going to take us to better things.

Here’s to 2019!