Consider Bad Times

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 7:14, ‘When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.’

 

Observations: Solomon has already made a case for making the best of things, there is nothing better than for a person to enjoy what they have. And that’s what he means when he says, ‘When times are good, be happy.’ It is good to enjoy God’s blessings. But then Solomon adds a new thought, ‘when times are bad…’ How should we deal with bad times? Solomon tells us to ‘consider.’ And we are to consider this truth that ‘God has made’ good times as well as bad times. If the good times come from God for our enjoyment, why does he send the bad times? It’s definitely worth thinking about. The Bible gives us a number of different reasons we face difficult times. Firstly, it may be to test our faith, as in the case of Job. Secondly, it may be judgment of sin, as in the case of the exile (Hebrews 12 talks about how God disciplines his children in order to make them holy). Thirdly, it may be due to persecution for our faith. Fourth, it make be the result of others sin, or the fact that we live in a broken world. Finally, often it is a mystery and we will never understand this side of eternity. But the point that Solomon is making is that it is worth considering how God wants us to respond to bad times. Does God want us to remain faithful, to repent, to endure, or react in some other way?

 

Application: How do you respond to bad times? Do you consider what God might be wanting to do in your life? Do you examine yourself to see if there is anything that God might be confronting in you? Do bad times make you turn to God in prayer and faith? The next time you face bad times consider that the Lord may have caused it to teach you something, and use that bad time to help you grow in your faith.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, our culture is obsessed with pursuing good times and avoiding bad times, but Lord You use bad times to grow my faith in You. Lord, help me trust You no matter what happens. Help me use bad times to confront sinful tendencies in my life. Help me use bad times to learn the lessons You want me to learn. Help me use bad times to turn to You in prayer. Lord, keep me faithful in the good times and the bad. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

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