He has made everything appropriate in its time.
God has a divine plan for everything in life. But it is only when we are in a right relationship with God that we can really trust His plan. That is the second point Solomon made in Ecclesiastes 3. He said a right relationship with God is the key to trusting His plan. Look at verse 11: “He has made everything appropriate in its time.”
There are two key phrases to understand in this verse. First, “everything appropriate.” Some translations say, “He has made everything beautiful.” But the word translated as “appropriate” or “beautiful” literally means “orderly.” God has made everything orderly in its time. He has a purpose for everything that happens. Solomon was not saying everything is beautiful; he was saying everything has a purpose, and God has the power to take the worst things that happen and use them for good.
Think about the greatest injustice that has ever happened on earth: the torture and murder of God’s own Son. There was nothing beautiful about that, but God used that terrible evil–He even planned that terrible evil–to bring about our salvation. If God can take something as horrible as the crucifixion of His Son and use it for good, He can do the same thing in your life. Whatever has caused you to doubt the sovereignty of God, He has the power to turn the bitter into sweet.
The second phrase to understand is “in its time.” Some translations say, “in His time.” You will never understand God’s plan until you understand that His timetable is different than ours. Think about putting together a jigsaw puzzle. When you look only at the individual pieces, you are not able to see the big picture. It is the same way with understanding God’s plan. That difficult thing in your life that is causing you to doubt God’s sovereignty is only one piece of the puzzle. But eventually you will be able to understand–not according to your timetable, but according to His timetable. And God has an eternal timeframe. Only when we are on the other side of heaven are we going to understand His plan.
In 1 Peter 4:12-13, the apostle said, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” When will we be able to rejoice over the testing we are going through? Again, not this year, not this decade, but when Christ comes–only then will we be able to make sense of God’s plan.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Is God Really in Control?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
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.