‘He has made everything appropriate in its time.’ Ecclesiastes 3:11 NAS
The song says: ‘I beg your pardon; I never promised you a rose garden.’ Neither did God, so beware of ‘rose garden’ theology. The Christian life is not a troublefree experience. There’s no divide where either you’re a believer and life is problem-free, or else you’re an unbeliever and life is tough. It’s an up-and-down experience, bringing times you’ll enjoy and times you’ll endure. The Bible’s heroes experienced both the thrill of victory and the sting of defeat—some, like Elijah, even wishing to die.
Consider the paradoxes of God’s Word. Jesus was a ‘man of sorrows.’ (Isaiah 53:3 NLT) Yet He was also ‘anointed…with the oil of gladness beyond (His) companions.’ (Hebrews 1:9 ESV) Paul said he was ‘sorrowful, yet always rejoicing… poor, yet making many rich… having nothing, and yet possessing all things.’ (2 Corinthians 6:10 NKJV) These were his thoughts when he said, ‘I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.’ (Philippians 4:13 NIV) In Proverbs 17:22 NKJV Solomon says, ‘A merry heart does good, like medicine.’ In Ecclesiastes 7:3 ESV he says, ‘Sorrow is better than laughter: for by sadness… the heart is made better.’ In Ecclesiastes 7:14 NAS he writes, ‘In…prosperity be happy; in…adversity consider God has made the one as well as the other.’ Rejoice! In your both/and world, God is still on the throne. He’s controlling the mix of joy to sorrow, peace to conflict, loss to gain, want to satisfaction, tragedy to triumph, with your best interests always foremost in His mind.
SoulFood: Is 17–21, Jn 6:35–51, Ps 98, Prov 27: 23–24
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023