Better Days Are Ahead!

​I love when God delivers a fresh revelation to me. It is like a breath of fresh air on a stale, stagnant day. His Word is unchanging and according to the final words of Revelation, can never be added to or have anything removed (Revelation 22:18-19). How does God get our attention in today’s age when things are coming at us so fast? He takes His simple truth and presents it in a refreshing way. He did this to me just the other day.
 
You know that old saying, “Better days ahead?” It can be downright annoying when someone tries to utter these words to you when you are having a bad day, a rough month or a rough year. You think, How can that possibly be?
 
God’s trying to deliver this message to His people, “Better days ARE ahead.”
 
How can we know this? He’s proven Himself over and over and His words say, “Better days ARE ahead” for the believer in Jesus Christ.
 
This freshness came over me the other day while I was reading the account of the Exodus and what transpired after God saved the Israelites from the Egyptian army. As I read God’s instruction to His people to build a “holy sanctuary” (Exodus 25:8), “Better days ARE ahead” washed over me from Genesis to Revelation.

God has been:
 
1.         Near us (in the holy sanctuary)
2.         With us (in the person of Jesus)
3.         In us (through the Holy Spirit)
4.         And will return for us (at the Rapture)
 
If you’ve spent any time in the Bible, you know these truths, right? Of course you do. If you haven’t spent much time in the Bible or haven’t fully understood or received the Gospel, hang in there because it is going to get really good.
 
After simply reading Exodus 25:8, I jotted down these four points above. As I wrote them down, a flood of excitement came over me. Why? Because in each of the instances above, God went away for a period, but always returned better for our benefit. Let me explain.
 
1.    Near Us
 
As I mentioned, God instructed His people (the Israelites) to build a holy sanctuary so He could “live among them” (His words, not mine). Read them for yourself in Exodus 25:8. Creation had existed for quite a long time at this point and a lot of His people, well…they were not upstanding citizens and yet, God wanted to “live among” His people. The Tabernacle had to be built “exactly according to the pattern” He would show them (Exodus 25:9). That was meant to protect Him and his holiness and protect the people from His holiness. In this holy sanctuary, there was an inner curtain that separated the Ark of the Covenant from the rest of the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:3). Only the high priest could enter into this most holy place and make an offering to God on behalf of the people. There were very specific rules about this and if the high priest did anything wrong, he would die in that most holy of holy places and the people would have to drag him out by a rope. He was near His people, but at a distance. This holy sanctuary would take on many forms throughout the Old Testament and would be targeted by the enemies of God for destruction. Even the Romans took control of the Temple and built it according to their specifications, not God’s.
 
During the Intertestamental Period, there was a period of silence for four hundred years (from the book of Malachi to the Gospels). There were some writings done during this period, but none were accepted as Scripture. God’s original intent of His holy sanctuary had been destroyed and defiled by enemies of God.
 
But God wanted to send His people, including the Gentiles…something better.
 
2.   With Us
 
The prophesied Savior arrived as a baby to live with His people in order to save them. Jesus was a baby born into difficult circumstances that required much faith of both Mary (his virgin mom) and Joseph (it took an angel of the Lord to convince him to stay). He was born in a humble manger and grew up in an ordinary family. He was not the royal king everyone had expected. He was an ordinary person growing in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52) and did not start his ministry until he was thirty years old…in God’s appointed time. Once Jesus was baptized and the Holy Spirit came upon him (Mark 1:9-11), Jesus embarked on His journey of making disciples and teaching people that He was the prophesied Messiah and that He was the way to heaven and would be the ultimate sacrifice for all who believed in Him. Many believed, yet many more doubted.
 
His ministry lasted three short years and ended when He was crucified and with that, Him living with His people was over. “Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father” (John 16:28).
 
But God still wanted to send His people…something better.
 
3.   In Us
 
One could imagine the hopelessness the disciples felt when Jesus was killed. They waited in faith for three days to see if what He said would happen would happen and wouldn’t you know it, three days later, as prophesied, Jesus was raised from the dead. Again, Jesus was with them…in a way. He would appear to His disciples and to many followers for a period of time, but it would not be forever.
 
Jesus said in John 16:7, “But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.” This “Advocate” he refers to is the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit he told the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for (Luke 1:7-8).
 
No longer is there a need for a physical building/dwelling place for God to reside nor does Jesus walk with us, but the Holy Spirit resides within each believer who asks for the Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16 and Luke 11:13).
 
However, even the Holy Spirit’s presence here is but for a time. He, too, will go away. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 says, “the one who is holding it back steps out of the way.” The “one” is referring to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will no longer operate in the same way (just as God is still God and Jesus is still Jesus, but their “ministries” took on different roles, if you will, as God’s plan has unfolded).
 
Yet even still, God wants to send His people…but ONLY His people… something better.
 4.   Will return for us.
 
"Look, he is coming with the clouds” (Revelation 1:7)
 
This will occur at the end of the Church Age…at the time of the Rapture…the moment all believers in Christ (I dare say Christians because many will be surprised in this moment) – the dead in Christ first - will be taken up with Jesus as He descends from Heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
 
Better days are ahead!
 
Not only will Jesus return for His people, His people will reign with Jesus for the thousand year Millennial Reign of Christ – a period of time in which Satan is chained, bound and locked away. Satan will eventually be let out for a little while, but will ultimately face his permanent torture (Revelation 20:3, 10).
 
The believer in Christ will remain with Jesus forever in a new kingdom – a perfect kingdom (Revelation 21). How's that for up close and personal?
 
Through God’s perfect love and plan, He continues to get closer and closer to the believer. Even though Adam and Eve walked with Him in perfect union in the garden, sin broke that unity. God wants to restore that unity once and for all. His Word says He will and as we can see, what He says will come, will come.
 
Better days are ahead indeed!
 
However, these days are only “better” for believers in Jesus Christ. Revelation 21:27 says it is only for “those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” This is the same Book that will be reviewed once Satan is released from his prison after a thousand years. “And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books….And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:12b, 15).
 
Bad days are certainly ahead for those who are considered enemies of God (i.e. anyone outside of a personal, saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ)*. If you are breathing as you read this, you still have the chance to get into the Book of Life.
 
I pray your days ahead are Better Days indeed!

 
*If you have never personally accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I would ask you to consider why. If your heart is ready to truly receive Him, salvation is as easy as ABC…
 
A=ADMIT you’re a sinner, that you need Christ as your Savior and that all those who call on Jesus will be saved. You can’t be saved without Him. (Romans 3:23, 5:23, 6:23)
B=BELIEVE that Jesus is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9, 10:10)
C=CONFESS to the Lord and admit to yourself that you have responsibilities and that you have commitments as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. (Romans 10:13, 11:36, John 1:1).
 
You can pray a simple prayer like this (or anything your heart speaks):
 
"Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."
 
If you have any further questions, please feel free to email me at erin@sandalfeet.com.
 

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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