We are not meant to live our best life right now.
I feel the weight of that statement; it’s a counter cultural idea certainly. Everything around us screams, rather convincingly: You do you. Live your best life. Do what makes you happy. Everything is under your control. Make your life amazing.
It sounds good. It feels good.
But I submit that this line of thinking is actually anti-gospel. According to the words of Jesus and the apostles, the life of a believer is actually one familiar with difficulty and suffering. “In this world you will have trouble”—Jesus in John 16:33. “We share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ”—the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:5. And the Apostle Peter mentions suffering eighteen times in the book of 1 Peter. “Rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when His glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13).
In Romans chapter 8, the Apostle Paul speaks to the tension of current groaning and suffering while awaiting with hope the glory that will be revealed. Our very best life? Oh, it’s coming! We await the redemption of our bodies. We await the renewal of creation. We await the moment when finally “our faith shall be sight.”
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,Horatio G. Spafford, “It is Well With My Soul”
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll.
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend.
Even so, it is well with my soul!
Glory is coming; be encouraged! However, we must not forget that for now we “hope for what we do not yet have” (Romans 8:25). If we try to create our best life now, our focus and ambition—which should be toward eternal matters—will tragically be misplaced toward things of this earth, “where moth and rust destroy” (Matthew 6:19).
Yes, by all means, we should live an intentional life. Let’s strive to live a God-glorifying life. Let’s enjoy the blessings God gives in this brief time here on earth. Let’s live a life that rejoices in suffering and difficulty.
But let’s not pursue our best life. Friends, that life is yet to come.
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also [in the future] share in His glory.Romans 8:16-17 (words in brackets are mine)