I know that I have had numerous times that I have asked myself this very question. Most of the times were frustrating and some were down right discouraging. I don’t know if there is any adult that has not experienced one of these moments. We should not be surprised that the Bible offers some encouragement for those times.
I have been thoroughly enjoying my preparation for our series out of Ecclesiastes called “Fulfilled!” There are many different views attempting to explain Solomon’s negative perspective on life. I come to the understanding that King Solomon’s writing is providing somewhat of a testimony on his life. There have been instances in the first two chapters when he slips in a mention of God, but it is chapter three that he explains life from God’s perspective. This past Sunday in looking at this passage I shared several insights that encourage us when we find ourselves asking the question “Why is this happening to me now?”
First, Solomon reminds us that there is a time for everything. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) The implication here, and from the following verses where he provides 14 contrasts, is the things that happen are part of God’s plan for your life. I need you to stop and ponder this truth for a moment. It has been said, “Life Happens.” If you fail to grasp this truth you will rob yourself of the daily joys of life. You will become a miserable frustrated person. Why? Because there are things in life that you do not control! Our problem is that we forget that “God is God and We are not!” The sooner that you embrace that challenges that life brings, the better off you will be.
Second, God’s plan is the best plan for you. I know, you think that you are smarter than God, but you are not. Solomon could have tried to make this claim as humanities wisest man. Yet he wrote, “I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.” (Ecclesiastes 3:10) What he is saying is that each day and its events are a gift from your Creator. This means if you fight against these events you are actually fighting against God. Do you really think that you have a chance? I know we struggle with this especially when we suffer because of the sins of others. The Apostle Paul reminded us of God’s ability to redeem everything in our lives. ”And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) There are many situations when we struggle to see God’s hand. Like when we experienced the loss our first pregnancy of twin boys to a rare medical condition. It was only after we walked through this process that we could see God’s working in our lives and the lives of others. Yes, God’s plan for us is always best, especially when it is difficult.
Third, I experience God’s joy when I choose to embrace the challenge. Solomon again concludes, “I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” (Ecclesiastes 3:12–13) While it is never easy. It is the mark of a maturing follower of Jesus. So why is this happening now? Because God has a work that He wants to do in your or thought you!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson