The Lord has a plan for all people, and we are all part of His plan! He provides cycles of life, each with its work for us to do. Although we may face many problems that seem to contradict God’s plan, these should not be barriers to believing in Him, but rather opportunities to discover that, without God, life’s problems have no lasting solutions. It is a time (a season) where our faith has an opportunity to grow, just like Joseph did (see Joy In God’s Presence).
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.” (Eccl 3:1-8) Timing is important. All the experiences listed in these verses are appropriate at certain times. The secret to peace with God is to discover, accept, and appreciate God’s perfect timing. The danger is to doubt or resent God’s timing. This can lead to despair, rebellion, or moving ahead without His advice.
Your ability to find satisfaction in your work depends to a large extent upon your attitude. You will become dissatisfied if you lose the sense of purpose God intended for your work. “What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.” (Eccl 3:9-13) We can enjoy our work if we (1) remember that God has given us work to do; and (2) realize that the fruit of our labor is a gift from Him. See your labors in this season as a way to serve the Lord.
We can never be completely satisfied with earthly pleasures and pursuits because “He has planted eternity in the human heart”. Because we are created in God’s image, we have a spiritual thirst and an eternal value that only God can truly satisfy. When we have the proper view of God, we discover that real pleasure is found in enjoying whatever we have as gifts from God, not in what we accumulate. God has built in us a restless yearning for the kind of perfect world that can only be found in His perfect rule. He has given us but a glimpse of His creation; we cannot see into the future or comprehend everything. So we must trust in the Lord, who is meticulously and methodically working out His plans and His purposes.
What is the purpose of life? It is that we should revere the all-powerful God. To fear God means to respect and stand in awe of Him because of who He is. Purpose in life starts with whom we know, not what we know or how good we are. It is impossible to fulfill your God-given purpose unless you revere God and give Him first place in your life.
“And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.” (Eccl 3:14-15) You may find yourself in a similar cycle throughout your life. These seasons happen for God’s purposes, and we don’t always know the reason. But we do know the One who knows, and we must follow Him faithfully.
Make a list of all the seasons you’ve been through. How has each season prepared you for where you are now? Thank Jesus for your seasons of training. Then thank Him for the seasons to come.
Sources: Life Application Study Bible and Bible Gateway