Uncertainty can be paralyzing. The Bible, however, provides instruction to guide us as we look to an unsure future. Turning to the wisdom literature of Ecclesiastes, Alistair Begg urges us to heed its practical guidance. God has placed us where we are, and He has called us to action. Even when the conditions do not seem ideal, belief in Christ should inspire God’s people to celebrate life in obedience and trust.
1Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.
2Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
for you know not what disaster may happen on earth.
3If the clouds are full of rain,
they empty themselves on the earth,
and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.
4He who observes the wind will not sow,
and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
5As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb1 of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.
6In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
7Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.
8So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.2
9Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
10Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain3 from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.
What are the purposes of suffering and trials? Why does God allow them? Those around us might tell us that suffering is pointless, that we should ignore it or rise above it, or that karma is paying us back for a wrong we have committed. The Bible, though, gives a very different answer. Scripture clearly addresses suffering—both its presence and its purpose. (After all, no one suffered more than Christ, our Savior.) Its many examples of faithful men and women who encountered various trials demonstrate God’s hand at work throughout history and for His glory.
In this series, Alistair Begg address the difficulties and worries of life by turning our attention to God’s Word and His promises. We may be tempted to long for greener pastures, but amid life’s trials, God’s Word assures us that peace is found in Christ alone.
|Dealing with Stress|
|All The Lonely People||Mark 10:46-52|
|Casting All Your Cares||1 Peter 5:7|
|Down in the Valley||1 Kings 19:1-18|
|Jesus Calms the Storm||Mark 4:35-41|
|Suffering in the Believer's Life||Lamentations 2:20|
|If Anyone is Sick..., Part One||James 5:14-18|
|If Anyone is Sick..., Part Two||James 5:15|
|Making the Most of It||Genesis 39:1-7|
|Sweet Fruit from a Thorny Tree||2 Corinthians 1:1|
|So Do Not Fear||Isaiah 41:10|
|Celebrate Life!||Ecclesiastes 11:1-10|
|Sweet Fruit Revisited|