By Wayne Moore
Pastor, High Point Baptist Church
To every thing there is a season,
And a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.
In King Solomon’s magnificent poem, he makes no moral judgments concerning the emotions and activities he lists, just observations. If you continue reading beyond his poem, Solomon seems frustrated that he cannot understand how all of these times and seasons fit into God’s eternal plan. He does not question God’s sovereignty or wisdom, but they are no comfort to him. Instead of trusting God and resting in His sovereignty and wisdom, he responds negatively. Even though he recognizes that God “hath made everything beautiful in his time,” he still feels that “there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And, also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor; it is the gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13) That’s it; that’s God’s gift. Just enjoy what you can because that’s all you get.
In my opinion, this is a poor response to the contrasting emotions and happenings of life. God has so much more to give. “For God so loved the world, that he GAVE his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16; emphasis mine) “The GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23; emphasis mine).
The Apostle Paul gives us a better example to follow. Faced with the same dilemma of not being able to understand all the ways of God, he exalts God rather than being exasperated. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33, 36)
Life is full of ups and downs, good and bad. Let me dissuade you from becoming discouraged, and persuade you to put your faith in Christ. Don’t take the attitude that, “I can’t understand or change anything, so I’m just going to live it up until I die.” A much better choice is to trust in Jesus and enjoy God’s blessings.
The reason life seems good at times is because God created everything good (Genesis 1-2). The reason life seems like a curse sometimes is because man rebelled against God and brought the curse upon the earth (Genesis 3). You can’t enjoy God’s blessings to the fullest without God, and you can’t escape the curse without Christ. So, turn from your sinful, selfish life. Obey the Holy Spirit and come to God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son. The Bible says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
With Christ in charge of your life, you can enjoy the earthly blessings of God without being discouraged by the curse of sin. With eternity in heaven in view, you can enjoy the temporary blessings of earth. The answer is not to leave God out of your life but to exalt Him in your life. I’m praying you do.