It's For The Better

You have probably heard the phrase, “It’s for the better.” We hear that after something tragic or terrible happens, after a broken relationship, or a failed attempt. The person trying to comfort you proclaims, “It’s for the better.” And then everything is better, right?

What if everything isn’t always for the better? What if that isn’t the way God works?

Take Saul for instance. God appointed Saul as the first king of the Israelites. Yet Saul disobeyed God. His greediness got in the way convincing him to not follow God’s directions to destroy everything that the Amalekite’s had. His disobedience led to God becoming angry and Saul’s removal as king. His unfaithfulness did not bring about the better.

Or Achan. After God miraculously delivered Jericho into the hands of the Israelites, the people were not supposed to keep any of the items. But the treasure was far too tempting for Achan. He secretly stashed away gold and silver. This made God so angry that he punished all the people  eventually leading to Achan’s demise. It surely was not for the better.

It’s never better to step out of God’s will. Never. Ever. It’s never better to cheat on your spouse. It’s never better to get pregnant as a teen outside of marriage. It’s never better to steal from a store, an employer, or a neighbor. It’s never better to consume too much of the wrong things and destroy your body. It’s never better to call people names and destroy relationships. It’s never better to take vengeance into your own hands. It’s never better to be lazy and not work. There are many things in life that are never better. The list could go on and on. We bring about a broken and failed reality when we give in to our own selfish desires. The end result is that we see a fallen world rather than the hand of God transforming our world into the better God has destined it to be.

How I long for the better.

What about the better that you would have experience if you hadn’t of slept around outside of marriage? Or that better that God has planned for you but your diet and disease prevents it from happening. Or that better he had in store for you but you failed to wake up and attend class. Or that better if you would have been loving toward someone rather than hostile. Or that better. Or the other better. Or that other better. It’s hard to live in the better because the impact of sin in this world is far-reaching.

It’s not always for the better. That’s what sin does. It destroys the better.

But here is the reassuring truth. When we are faithful, then we will find ourselves in the better. Though it doesn’t work with as well with just one being faithful. We all should be faithful. Our churches, our families, our workplaces, our communities, and our nation won’t reach the better that God has in store for us if only one or two of us are faithful. We all must be faithful.

This is not to belittle grace, forgiveness, and hope. When things fall apart and crumble, the Great Potter can build a new better. This actually brings those concepts into our fallen world. Nobody needs grace, forgiveness, and hope if they are always perfect. We need them when we are fallen, broken, and hurting. When we face hopelessness and despair. Grace, forgiveness, and hope are there in our darkest hours. Always.

So don’t be discouraged when things are in shambles. God has a new better. But be aware that the new better can be destroyed just like the old better was. By sin. By not doing the things God wants us to do and by doing the things that God knows we shouldn’t do. Sin destroys. God builds the better. God guides us toward the better. Remain faithful. Live in the better.

“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalms 84:10 ESV).