When someone is going through something hard but temporary – like a breakup – we want to comfort them. I have often told someone: “This too shall pass”. But is that Biblical? Well, yes and no…
The origin of this specific phrase isn’t Christian. It comes from a Persian adage, most likely from a medieval Sufi poet. The sentiment is pretty universal, though, so I don’t think you have to be Sufi to come up with the idea. Jewish folklore has the wise King Solomon saying it, and the phrase underwent a revival of sorts in the mid 1800’s, when it was quoted often, including being quoted by Abraham Lincoln. It is not actually found anywhere in the Christian Bible. It isn’t NOT Christian in nature, but here are some verses that actually ARE in the Bible, which might be more appropriate.
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
2 Peter 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness…
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Why do I like these verses better? Well, they may not be as short and easily quotable, but they provide direction. They don’t just tell us to accept the thing that is going on. But they point us to a source of peace in the midst of it, tell us how to conduct ourselves, and give us real hope for a future without these troubles. I think that is much more comforting!