The first time I ever heard, “this too shall pass,” was a cold winter day long ago. My father had died, so I went to the funeral home for a private visitation.
But I wasn’t going to grieve. I wasn’t ready. I was going to see if it was really my dad or just a case of mistaken identity.
I know that sounds strange, but hear me out. My dad was larger than life. He was strong-willed, tough, gregarious, and would laugh at his jokes harder than anyone in the room. (He passed down that last trait to me.)
He also had a heart of gold. He was an incredible father, and my young twenty-something brain couldn’t fathom such a loss.
So I couldn’t believe that he’d actually died. Not only did it not make sense, I literally couldn’t process it. I was in the classic phase of grief known as denial, and my denial was strong!
When I arrived at the funeral home, somebody said, “This too shall pass.” I figured they meant it to be encouraging, but I had no idea what it meant. To be honest, I probably didn’t care at the time!
Those words of comfort have been passed around for centuries. “This too shall pass” means that our current struggle won’t last forever and that something wonderful is just around the corner for those of us in Christ! It reminds us that God is good and his plans for us are good! It also reminds us that pain is temporary and that one day, everything really will be okay.
This Too Shall Pass Bible Verse
While “this too shall pass” isn’t technically in the Bible, it certainly points us to the truth and hope of the gospel. Take 1 Peter 5:10, for instance:
“And the God of all Grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”
Peter was speaking to believers who were undergoing persecution, and his message was that their suffering wouldn’t last. God would restore them and make them strong!
And that’s not the only place where the Lord comforts us by telling us that our pain will be temporary. Paul speaks more to this in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:
“For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Paul certainly wasn’t suggesting that believers being persecuted for their faith was no big deal. Instead, he was saying that in light of the glory that awaited them, their temporary pain paled in comparison!
Where Is the Sentiment of This Too Shall Pass found in the Bible?
How excellent must Heaven be if it makes incredible grief light by contrast? Can you imagine your deepest pain fading away in the perfect joy and love of God?
But, “this too shall pass” isn’t only for pain that’s inflicted upon us. It also refers to the problems that we bring on ourselves! Isaiah 54:7-8 says:
“For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with deep compassion I will bring you back.
In a surge of anger
I hid my face from you for a moment,
but with everlasting kindness
I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord your Redeemer.
While it can be challenging to think of God being angry with us, what’s really showcased here is God’s infinite grace and forgiveness for his children. His anger passes, but His love for us is forever! The Enduring Word commentary explains it like this:
“The contrast is between the moment of feeling forsaken and the everlasting nature of the kindness that will come. When we feel tired and forsaken, we should recognize that it is just for a moment, and the everlasting blessing will certainly come.”
What a relief it is to know that even in our imperfections, even in our sins and wanderings, our loving father God will love us continually and that one day, we’ll be wrapped in perfect joy.
How Is This Too Shall Pass Powerful In God’s Eyes?
So what does last? What is constant both in this life and in the life to come?
God is always good, and He always loves us! When we hold onto that truth, it makes a lot of sense that all of the difficult things of this life will one day pass away.
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t listen to the encouraging words of the funeralgoer that day. It was a potential growth moment that I flamed out over. And that was just one of many during my years as a prodigal, if I’m being honest.
Fortunately, the point is not my failings. God has actually redeemed all of those as that is who he is… the great redeemer. The more that I rest in His goodness, the sooner my worries pass.
Our loving father gives us so much grace. Although we don’t deserve it or earn it, he gives us grace upon grace! John 1:16 tells us:
“Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness…”
While we may wish things away, suffering is also when most growth occurs. I can personally attest to the fact that my most significant growth came at the point of my deepest sorrow.
God uses adversity in our lives to grow and shape us into who we are meant to be! We look in the mirror and oftentimes think too much of ourselves. Other times we see ourselves as less than we really are. But if we are in Christ, then when God looks at us, he sees Jesus Christ’s perfect righteousness because of what he did for us!
So take heart. Lean into the adversity. Trust that God loves you and that you’re safe in the shadow of his wing. Know that “this too shall pass” and believe it with all your heart.
When you feel like your faith is weak and it seems hard to trust the Lord, tell him. Be honest. He loves you, and he’s strong enough to handle your doubts. Soak up his word and dwell on his promises. Surround yourself with friends that will speak the truth to you. And even when you disagree with them because anger is clouding your judgment, you will know deep in the recesses of your soul that these friends love you.
2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us, “He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
That’s what I challenge you to do today! Let us know how the Lord has comforted you and what our good God has brought you through! Encourage others that need to be comforted and reminded that their pain will also pass. Share your story below so that we can build each other up!
“Isaiah Chapter 54.” Enduring Word, 26 Dec. 2015, enduringword.com/bible-commentary/isaiah-54/. Accessed 6 Sept. 2022.