Something I love that our church proclaims is that “Jesus is better.” He’s better than money. He’s better than marriage. He’s better than friendships. He’s better than success. He’s better than comfort. He’s better than good health. He’s better that sex. He’s better than everything.
But do you really believe that? Do I really believe that?
What makes Jesus better? What makes him better than the thrill of a road trip with great friends? What makes him better than a long embrace or the perfect kiss goodnight? What makes him better than all the money in the world- the solution to so many problems? What makes him better than a warm bed and a hot shower? What makes Jesus better than the perfect family or the most beautiful, healthy child?
What’s the secret? He’s better because when ALL of those things are gone, He’s still there. When friends have abandoned you, he’s there. When loneliness is overpowering, he’s there. When you’re broke and not sure how to pay the next bill, he’s there. When the hot water goes out, he’s there. When families gets broken, Jesus stays. When the children get hurt, have illnesses, disown their family, or pass away, Jesus. Is. There.
But not only is he there in the pain and the heartache and loss, He’s there when times are wonderful.
He’s there on your wedding day when you make forever vows. He’s there when you pass that test you stayed up all night studying for. He’s there when you barely avoid that near death totaling your car experience. He’s there when your wife gives birth to your first beautiful child. He’s there when you celebrate that new promotion and raise.
You see friends, if our lives are dependent on the momentary happiness of life’s joys, it would be a bumpy ride. When we live in the pleasures of the world (any many of life’s good things are in fact, very good things), we miss out on the pleasure of Christ. We tend to view the good moments in life as “the best thing that ever happened to me.” We tend to forget how short-lived that high is, even when it is very, very good. But as the Creator of every good thing we have, Jesus surpasses them all. Soaking in the moments of total bliss because of your team’s most perfect playoff win or the moment your first child takes his first steps or the perfect romantic evening ending with the perfect marriage proposal or the perfect snow day that allows you sleep in, spend time getting things done or have fun with your closest friends…are not bad things. But when they become the best things, life actually gets very miserable. Because they go away so quickly. When you live for these moments, you will be disappointed. More often than not, your favorite football or basketball team will eventually lose and piss you off for the rest of the day. Your child will have many struggles, whether self-inflicted, caused by others, or both. Your romance life, or lack thereof, will inevitably have barriers and quarrels that only smarter, wiser people can help you through. Or the snow will be just little enough that you still have to go to work or school but must risk your life getting there. BUT, if your life’s joy and pleasure comes from Jesus, you will never be disappointed. When Jesus is the best possible one in your world, all other areas will actually be better too. Will life still be hard? Yes. Will there still be struggles? Absolutely. But he won’t let you down. He won’t fail you. Your hope will be sufficient. Unlike your friends, your family, your job, your car, your home, Jesus will NEVER stop being good. Because he is incapable of being anything but good. So why not believe that? Jesus is the best. He’s worth forsaking all other joy to experience all true joy. Let him be better to you, for the sake of making all good things better.