“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit” (Luke 10:20-21). Note: It says “Your names are written in Heaven,” not will be written in Heaven. This is the only record of Jesus rejoicing in the spirit. He rejoiced because He knew that one day all His people would be together forever in Heaven. It’s natural to rejoice when good things happen, when souls are saved, when a loved one makes a wise decision, or when a prodigal returns home. It was like that when the seventy disciples returned from their first mission trip. They were rejoicing and exceedingly excited that even the demons were subject unto them. Jesus acknowledged their success, but He tactfully warned them about basing their joy on temporal successes on this earth. The best things in life are not things. Their real joy should be based on the eternal fact that their names are written in heaven.
In life and in ministry, the tide comes in and goes out. We labor in season and out of season. Happiness comes when good things “happen.” Paul learned that at times he abounded, and at times he was abased (Phil. 4:12). But he learned in both these areas to be content. “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Phil 4:11). It’s good to rejoice as we see results. But Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, reminds us that there is a much greater basis for rejoicing. Success in life is temporal and it comes and goes, but He has a better eternal life that is beyond all our expectations. Think of all the things that have brought you great joy, then realize the best is yet to come. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (I Cor. 2:9). Peter says it is joy unspeakable and full of glory (1Pet.1:8). Our greatest joy and rejoicing is in the Lord.
As one woman told her pastor, “When you lay me in my casket, please put a fork in my right hand.” The pastor asked, “Why!” She replied, “At all our fellowships, you tell us to keep our forks because the best is yet to come.” For the child of God, the best is yet to come. As D.L. Moody died, he said, “You may read that D.L. Moody died. Don’t believe it. D.L. Moody has just begun to live.” Rejoice! The best is yet to come...so keep your fork!