The roller-coaster ride of life
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 (NIV)
A Time for Everything
1 - There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 - a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 - a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 - a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 - a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 - a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 - a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 - a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
9 - What do workers gain from their toil?
10 - I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.
11 - He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a]no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Our lives are full of up and downs and you and I would always prefer to stay up… Age, weight gain, struggle raising kids, finances, cold weather, hot weather are all parts of our lives.
In John 16:33 we see Jesus saying: “On earth you will have many trials” … but don’t be afraid I overcame the world…
Sometimes we are the top of the mountain and others, the mountain is on the top of us, but we are not alone, God is always with us as He has promised.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 we read: My grace is sufficient for you …
God has never promised us a rose garden to live in… and sometimes some preachers do… and other times get a wrong idea that a Christian life is problem free one.
Bible’s heroes experienced both victories and defeats.
We see Jesus described in Isaiah 53:3 as a man of sorrows (He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces; he was despised, and we held him in low esteem), and then anointed with the oil of gladness in Hebrews 1:9 (You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness); therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
Paul said he was sorrowful, yet always rejoicing … poor, yet making many rich… having nothing, and yet possessing all things (2 Corinthians 6:10).
These were Paul’s thought when he said: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
In Proverbs 17:22 we read: A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. In Ecclesiastes 7:3 - Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart… This was written by Solomon, the wisest man in the world…
In Ecclesiastes 7:14 he also writes: When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.
God is in control… He is on the throne and He’s acting for us…
When we are inside an airplane on a night fight and we can’t see anything and only hear some noise of the engines we can only trust the pilot knows what he’s doing, where he’s going and that we will get safely to our destination… Even when you are sleeping the airplane is going on…
In Isaiah 50:10 we read: Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on their God.
Even the ones who trust in the Lord will at times walk at places where there seems to be no light to guide their footsteps. These aren’t times of punishment, retribution or abandonment.
They are times when God is working out our development and advancement in His Kingdom. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, men who feared the Lord and obeyed His word were ordered to be burned alive for refusing to worship the king’s golden image (Daniel 3:16-18)
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Let’s listen to their faith confession:
1. Our God is able to deliver us. (verse 17) they never doubted God’s ability.
2. And He will deliver us. (verse 17) They never doubted God’s intention.
3. But if not… we will not worship the gold image (verse 18). They never consider an alternative to faithfulness to God.
They had to go through what they had to g and they stayed firm, believing God was with them, and He was.
Trust in the name of the Lord and rely on Him and in our God. He has the last word, not the devil, circumstances or people. As those three Hebrews, you will come out refined as gold tried in the fire.