24 beautifulIn Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 we see 14 pairs of good and bad events in life; love and hate, mourn and rejoice, weep and laugh, get and lose, etc. We never seem to question God in the good times, but we often ask why in the bad. We don’t understand why bad happens. In the pits of despair we often cry out to God in anger and frustration. We don’t have the perspective that God has on the good and bad in our lives. I’ve often said that faith really is believing that God has our best interest foremost in mind regardless of the circumstances of life. The difference between the lowest point on earth (The Dead Sea basin) and the highest point on earth (Mt. Everest) is about 10 miles. If you are at the lowest point in your life or on the mountaintop the difference from our perspective is vast. Yet, if you’re on the moon you don’t even notice it. God sees everything from His perspective and one day He will change our perspective to see the events “under the sun” the way He does. Psalm 33:13-14 says, “The LORD looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From where he rules, he looks down on all who live on earth.”

In Ecclesiastes 3:11, Solomon appears to sum up the extreme experiences in our lives with a profound expression of faith in God’s ultimate goodness. He says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” I think this is simply saying that God’s plans are good; everything that happens, happens for a purpose. Paul summarized life’s struggles in a similar way in Romans 8:28, “God will make all things work together for Good for those that love Him.”

Malcolm Muggeridge, the British journalist who became a devoted Christian said, “Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful, with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existence has been through affliction and not through happiness, whether pursued or attained. In other words, if it ever were to be possible to eliminate affliction from our earthly existence by means of some drug or other medical mumbo jumbo, as Aldous Huxley envisaged in Brave New World, the result would not be to make life delectable, but to make it too banal and trivial to be endurable. This, of course, is what the Cross signifies. And it is the Cross, more than anything else that has called me inexorably to Christ.” In my experience, tragic deaths, painful experiences, miserable situations or any other “bad” thing you can think of will either drive us to God or away from God.