These are notes on the sermon, Your Best Days Are Ahead, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, July 23, 2023, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
This sermon will be made available for free as a Gospel Partner episode on 10 Aug. You can get access to this sermon now through a Gospel Partner subscription, or simply purchase the sermon.
Sign up here to receive Gospel Partner updates and pastoral insights from Joseph Prince and his team.
Everyone wants to live a good life. We want to feel that we’re making progress in our lives, that we are doing well physically (i.e., being strong and healthy), spiritually in our walk with God, in our souls (in the area of our mental and emotional wellbeing), and also in our moral character (living a holy life that is pleasing to the Lord).
Perhaps some of us feel like our best days are behind us. Perhaps we’ve bought into what the world tells us, that as we progress in our days, the more we experience the infirmities that come with aging. Instead of listening to what the world tells us, let’s change the way we see ourselves and align our realities with the Word of God!
Deuteronomy 33:25 (KJV) tells us that “as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
This is God’s promise of a good life for us! His heart is for us to live long, live healthily, prosper in our souls, have good moral character, and reign in every area of our lives. Notice how “days” is plural here? This shows us that God’s desire is for us to enjoy many good days! Beloved, your best days are still ahead of you. Unlike what the world says, as we progress in our years, we will become stronger and remain alert!
Our part today is to simply lay hold of this powerful promise for our lives. The more we see God’s heart for us to enjoy the blessings He has already prepared for us, the more we will have the confidence to fully take possession of His promises for us. So let’s dive deeper into what these blessings of a good life include!
How can we enjoy a good and satisfying life unless we are first strong and healthy? God’s heart is for us to live long and live strong. We know this from Jacob’s prophecy to the tribe of Asher.
“Bread from Asher shall be rich, and he shall yield royal dainties.”
—Genesis 49:20 NKJV
Now, Jacob told his sons that his prophecies for them were for the last days (Gen. 49:1) and in Hebrews 1:1–2 (KJV), we’re told that “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” And as we study the prophecies that were pronounced over the 12 tribes of Israel, we can receive revelations for these last days, the times that we’re currently in.
So in the prophecy to Asher, we will see that the bread mentioned refers to healing, specifically to the Lord’s abundant healing for us today. To understand this better, let’s take a look at our Lord Jesus’ encounter with a Syrophoenician woman in Matthew 15.
In this story, our Lord Jesus traveled from the Sea of Galilee to the city of Tyre, located in the territory of Asher (refer to Slide 10), just to meet a woman whose daughter was demon-possessed. We know this because throughout the 39-mile (almost 63 km) journey to Tyre, which would probably have taken the Lord more than a day of walking through hilly terrain, no miracle is recorded.
“And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.’ ”
—Matthew 15:22 NKJV
Notice how the woman addressed the Lord as “Son of David”? This was a title used only by the Jews. By addressing the Lord as such, the lady was trying to be someone she was not, a Jew. She probably did so in desperation for her daughter to be healed. But the Lord kept silent because it was still not time for the Gentiles to receive from Him as His first coming was to the Jews, “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:24). This shows us that when we pretend to be who we are not, we cannot receive from the Lord. Instead, when we go to the Lord as we are, we get to freely receive His blessings for us.
As the woman kept crying out to the Lord Jesus, He answered: “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs” (Matt. 15:26).
The Greek word for “little dogs” here refers to “little puppies.” Little puppies are adorable and belong to the house, to the family. Even though it was not yet time for the Gentiles to receive from Him, the Lord gave this woman a way to do so. Seeing that the Lord knew the truth about her and yet still made a way for her, the woman repented and acknowledged Jesus as “Lord.”
“And she said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.’”
—Matthew 15:27 NKJV
For this woman to say that even the crumbs could heal her daughter meant that she saw the Lord’s heart. She saw that our Lord Jesus loved her and loved her daughter. She saw that the Lord was making a way for her even though it was not time for the Gentiles to receive. Her faith pleased the Lord so much that He immediately healed the woman’s daughter (Matt. 15:28)!
Today, we can receive from the Lord because we are children of God! We don’t sit under the table but at the table, and we can freely partake of the children’s bread. Healing belongs to us!
The promise of health and healing also applies to the area of our souls—our minds, emotions, and mental well-being. In the world today, there has been a rise in mental health concerns. We are seeing more people struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, especially among the young people.
While we thank God for the medical help that is available to alleviate the symptoms, it is also important for us to recognize that many of these concerns are spiritual in nature. The enemy who is out to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) is also after our mental well-being. Many mental health concerns that people are facing today are spiritual attacks and oppression from the enemy. But we can take heart even amid all these attacks, for our Lord Jesus has come that we might have life and have it more abundantly. His heart is not just to heal, but also to restore our minds.
Mark 5 records the story of our Lord Jesus casting a whole legion of demons out of the Gadarene demoniac. Just as Jesus crossed the entire length of the Sea of Galilee to heal him, set him free, and restore him, our Lord wants to do the same for those of us who have been afflicted by mental health conditions.
In these last days, there will be more of such oppression among the people. The enemy may attempt to afflict or harass our bodies. If you are under attack, don’t be afraid. Use the powerful name of our Lord Jesus in this spiritual warfare! There is power in the name of Jesus!
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore . . .’”
—Matthew 28:18–19 NKJV
“In My name they will cast out demons.”
—Mark 16:17 NKJV
Pastor Prince shares an analogy of a policeman who has the authority to stop traffic on the road. His authority is not his own but comes from the government that has authorized him to do his work. In the same way, our Lord Jesus has given us authority in His name. This is why we can command evil spirits to leave our circumstances “in the name of Jesus.”
Pastor Prince also shares a practical tip for us to guard what we are watching. The bad news, or “sorrow of the world,” that we read or hear can negatively affect our souls (2 Cor. 7:10). Instead of allowing ourselves to be mindlessly fed bad news on social media, we can guard what we allow ourselves to spend time reading/watching. If there are things we need to research online, we can protect ourselves by only looking up what is relevant and not allowing ourselves to be distracted by content that is not good for us.
Here are some more ways we can practically lay hold of God’s promises:
1. Having a merry heart
God desires for us to be happy. Going back to the promise in Deuteronomy 33:25, the key to enjoying a good and long life is happiness. Happiness and strength are intrinsically tied together.
Proverbs 17:22 tells us that “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”
This tells us that happiness and having a joyful heart have tremendous benefits for our overall well-being. This was demonstrated by American political journalist, author, and professor, Norman Cousins, who reported that he was healed of an incurable disease by laughing every day.
Some might think that happiness is a fleeting state. While happiness might be elusive for some, it is a blessing we get to enjoy as the children of God. The promise in Deuteronomy 33:24–25 was a blessing pronounced by Moses over Asher, one of the tribes of Israel. And the Hebrew meaning for the name Asher is “happy,” indicating that happiness and the blessings of Asher in Deuteronomy 33:24–25 are linked.
The posture of a joyful heart is something we can choose to adopt independent of the circumstances we are going through. Even when things are not going our way, we can still rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 3:1). And this is how we get to live our best life at any given moment and how we can age well—we choose to be happy and rejoice in the Lord instead of dwelling on earthly sorrows.
2. Reading the Word
Pastor Prince shares 2 anecdotes, one of an elderly Japanese man and the other of an elderly Korean lady, both believers. When asked about their secret to a good, strong, and long life, both their advice was the same—read God’s Word!
God’s Word is health to all our flesh (Prov. 4:22) and produces strength in us. Not just physical strength, but also moral strength (i.e., practical holiness). The more we spend time reading the Word and learning about our Lord Jesus, the more we learn His ways of holiness, e.g., how to treat our family members with kindness, and how to behave with propriety when interacting with the people around us, especially with members of the opposite sex.
3. Being physically active
One other practical tip on how to lay hold of God’s promises of a good and long life is to move! Whenever you have pockets of time during the day, take time to walk! There are practical benefits to taking walks.
Another blessing that we get to enjoy is abundance in all areas of our lives, for us and our children too!
Let’s look at this blessing that Moses pronounced over Asher:
“And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil. Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
—Deuteronomy 33:24–25 KJV
Oil here refers to an abundance of provision. Notice also how children are mentioned here. This means that God’s heart is for us to enjoy His abundant blessings for us with our families. We see this from the miracle that the prophet Elijah performed in Sidon (1 Kings 17), which is also within the territory of Asher. In this story, God asked Elijah to go to Zarephath to meet with a widow there.
“Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, ‘Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.’ So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, ‘Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.’ And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, ‘Please bring me a morsel of bread (a crumb) in your hand.’ So she said, ‘As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.’”
—1 Kings 17:8–12 NKJV
Even though God told Elijah that the widow would provide for him, we see here that the woman was the one in need of provision as it was a time of famine across the land of Sidon. In fact, her situation was causing her so much emotional distress, the woman had reached the point where she was contemplating death.
But in the following verses, we see that as the woman followed what Elijah told her to do, as she brought the seemingly little she had to Elijah, the little became much—so much that the flour was not used up, and the jar of oil did not run dry throughout the time of famine! There was an abundance of supply for her and her child (vv. 16)!
Here, Elijah is a picture of our Lord Jesus. And the jar of oil not running dry is a picture of His abundant supply for us. Whatever little we think we have, whether it’s physical strength, finances, or wisdom, when we bring even the seemingly little to our Lord Jesus, the little becomes much! He will multiply whatever we put into His hands. More importantly, this story reveals the Lord’s heart to provide for us and our family. He cares deeply for us and will provide for every area of need in our lives. And He wants to free us from our worries and cares.
Oil (or anointing oil) in the Bible usually also refers to the power of the Holy Spirit. When the power of the Holy Spirit is upon us, we can experience good success in all areas of our lives! Whether it’s through an impartation of wisdom to parent our children, wisdom to navigate our marital or family relationships, or wisdom at the workplace, when God’s anointing is upon us, we can reign in all areas of our lives. And this is how we can be confident that we can enjoy many good days, days of heaven on earth with our families!
Do you ever find yourself scrolling through your phone’s camera roll, looking at all the photos over the years, and wondering . . .
“Those were the days when I was stronger . . .”
“These are things I can’t do anymore . . .”
“My wrinkles weren’t as apparent then . . .”
“Are my best days behind me already . . . ?”
It’s that sinking feeling of realization that hits you, telling you that the older you get, the less robust you feel and the less you have to look forward to in life.
To put it simply in a sketch, it’ll look something like this . . .
But what if I told you that God’s plan for you is the exact opposite? Just look at this scripture from Deuteronomy 33 that stands contrary to and in blatant defiance of what the world touts as the natural laws of aging!
“. . . As your days, so shall your strength be.”
—Deuteronomy 33:25 NKJV
So, the graph for us, as believers, should look more like this . . .
Beloved, you don’t have to expect your good days to peter out as time goes by because your heavenly Father says your best days are ahead of you. The Bible records that Caleb conquered the promised land at age 85. Sarah and Abraham conceived their first child when they were about 100. This is something beyond what the world can comprehend, achieve, give, or hope for. But it’s our portion to claim!
But . . . just how do we do that? How do we walk in the reality of this wonderful promise from the Lord?
As Pastor Prince expounded from Deuteronomy 33, from the blessing of the tribe of Asher, the secret to living your best life every day is by choosing happiness! So beloved, choose to rejoice in the Lord today!
We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.
© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2023
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.
Sign Up for Latest Sermon Notes UpdatesSubscribe
To complete the subscription process, please click on the confirmation link in the email we just sent you.
You're already in our mailing list. Thank You!