The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1, Solomon said God has a divine plan for everything in life. When we get to verse 2, we see a poem with fourteen positives and fourteen negatives. Let’s look at what some of these pairs can teach us about viewing life from God’s perspective.
“A time to give birth and a time to die” (v. 2). Psalm 139:16 says, “In Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” God wrote your birth date down before the foundation of the world, and He also wrote down the date of your death. That day is fixed on God’s calendar; there is nothing you are going to do to change it.
“A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4). There is a time to celebrate as well as a time to mourn. And it is during those times of mourning when we learn some of life’s most important lessons. As C. S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
“A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones” (v. 5). The Bible says sometimes it is a good thing to throw stones. I think about the president of the United States. There are some people who think the president can do no wrong, and there are other people who think he can do nothing right. Neither is true. Sometimes he does good things, and in those times we ought to commend him. Sometimes he does not do the right thing, and we ought to criticize him. But at all times we ought to pray for him.
“A time to love and a time to hate” (v. 8). Is there really a time when we ought to hate? The Bible says there is. When Abraham Lincoln visited New Orleans as a young man, he saw slaves on the auction block for the first time. And he reportedly welled up with anger and vowed that if he had the chance, he would do everything he could to abolish the horrible practice of slavery. If we are going to view life from God’s perspective, then we ought to hate the things that God hates.
God has appointed a time for everything in life, both positive and negative. He is in control of everything that happens to us.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Is God Really in Control?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
C. S. Lewis, “The Problem of Pain” (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2015), 91; Francis Marion Van Natter, “Lincoln’s Boyhood: A Chronicle of His Indiana Years” (Washington, DC: Public Affairs Press, 1965), 145.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.