Something Better is Coming

by Oct 19, 2016

Something Better is Coming

by Oct 19, 2016

Something Better is Coming

by Oct 19, 2016

A few summers ago our family did a home exchange with a family in Las Vegas. We stayed in their house for a week, they stayed in ours for a week. They got our little 3-bedroom, single-wall house with no air conditioning. We got a huge, 5,000 square foot mansion with central AC, pools, jazuzzis, waterfalls, a sauna. and an outdoor kitchen.

Just before we flew over, the family sent us an email saying, “We’re so sorry, but the outdoor dishwasher isn’t working. You’ll need to take your dishes all the way to the kitchen inside.” I wanted to cancel the deal right there, but cooler heads prevailed, and off we went. It was incredible. I wanted to live in that house for the rest of my life. We could crank the AC all the way up, all day long (it’s the mainland, so electricity is like $10 a year). We could swim and lounge and play all day long.

After a few days, though, the novelty wore off. The heat was oppressive. Unless you were in the pool, you didn’t want to be outside. The restaurants around were all mediocre chains. The little old ladies playing slot machines in the grocery stores were depressing. Pretty soon, we couldn’t wait to get back home to Hawaii.

Even if you’ve got everything you could ever want in life, there’s so much hope in the knowledge that you’ve got something better to go home to.

That’s the story of Joseph. He went from a slave in Egypt to the Prime Minister of Egypt. He was treated like a king. When he wanted to take a 10-day trip to bury his father, his entourage consisted of all the servants of Pharaoh, and all the elders of Pharaoh’s family, and all the elders of all of Egypt. Talk about living large.

Joseph had everything he could hope for in Egypt, but it wasn’t good enough. He kept pressing ahead for something better. The author of Hebrews explains:

By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones. (Hebrews 11:22)

That’s Joseph’s entry in the Spiritual Hall Of Fame in Hebrews 11, and that’s all it says about him. If you know the story of Joseph, maybe you’re thinking, “Uhhhh, what about the time he interpreted the Pharoah’s dreams? That was pretty cool. Or what about the time he saved all of Egypt from a famine? That was amazing. Or what about the time he blessed his brothers, the ones who tried to kill him? What kind of crazy love is that?”

The author of Hebrews says, “Yeah, that’s all pretty cool. But it’s nothing compared to the time he said, “Take my bones out of Egypt, and take them to the Promised Land.” That’s what gave the Israelites hope, purpose, and perseverance. No matter how good or bad their lives were in Egypt, they kept pressing ahead for something better.

That leads to a question we all need to ask ourselves: Am I going to settle for what this life offers, or am I going to press ahead for something better?

Am I going to settle for the pleasures of this world? The car? The house? The food? The substances? The sex? Or am I going to press ahead for something better?

Am I going to settle for the way this world spends its money? The clothes? The vacations? The Instagram-perfect meals? Or am I going to press ahead and invest my money for eternity?

Am I going to settle for the kind of halfway-holiness that’s so common in this world? “I only dabble in that thing once a month!” Or am I going to press ahead for perfection?

Joseph and the rest of the Old Testament saints knew there was a better life coming in the Promised Land. And we share the same hope in the ultimate Promised Land Jesus is taking us to:

If they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one (Hebrews 11:15-16)

When you know that a better life that’s coming, it changes everything about the way you live in this life.