Nothing is Certain

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Notice the way God does things; then fall into line.
Don’t fight the ways of God,
For who can straighten out what He has made crooked?
Enjoy prosperity while you can.
But when hard times strike, realize that both come from God.
That way you will realize that nothing is certain in this life.

~Ecclesiastes 7:13-14

I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time now.  It challenges my world view.  It causes me to wonder about the “gospel” I’ve heard for so long: If we do what God desires, all will be well in this life.

That’s not what this says.  It’s telling me I might do all that is right and still hard times will strike.  That both, prosperous and hard times, are from Him.  It’s saying that life isn’t fair and nothing is certain. 

Why hasn’t this been taught???  Why was I told if I do my best, life will work out as it should?  God is not about karma, yet we’ve taken that philosophy and have taught it in the church. 

God tells us to rejoice in Him even when the times are hard.  Keep our eyes fixed on Him.  He will bring deliverance.

This is how to deal with God.  Praise Him before you are delivered.  Praise Him for what is coming.  Adore Him for what He is going to do.  I do not think there is a sweeter song in God’s ear than the song of one who blesses Him for grace that has not yet been tasted, who blesses Him for answers that have not been received but are sure to come.  The praise of past gratitude is sweet, but even sweeter is the praise of full confidence that all will be well. 

Though the fig tree may not blossom,
nor the fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
and the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
and there be no herd in the stalls —
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord is my strength;
He will make my feet like hind’s feet,
And He will make me to walk upon my high places.

~Habakkuk 3:17-19

Though you have no income to meet your needs and are brought to poverty’s door, nonetheless, bless the Lord.  His mighty providence cannot fail so long as one of His children needs to be provided for.  Your song, while you are in distress, will be sweet music to God’s ear.

Go in the name of God.  Meet your difficulties calmly and fairly.  Do not have any plans or tricks, just commit yourself to God.  This is the way you may confidently find deliverance.  If you can only trust and praise God, you will see marvelous things that will utterly astonish you.  ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon:

I will trust and praise the Lord God of the Universe.
I will see marvelous things.
I will be utterly atonished…in Him.

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16 responses »

  1. I really, really, really liked this Michelle. My view of everything changed so much when I chose to look at life as a servant to Him rather than Him being a servant of what I thought I needed.

    Learning to praise Him in the good and the bad has brought more joy than my life could hold.

  2. Hey, Gitz! Thanks!! Sometimes self-pity can overwhelm. I’ve needed a good kick in the pants to get back to praising Him. Even though I’m not at all sure what my present troubles will bring, I can praise the One who knows the end from the beginning. I have no qualms about His will being good for me.

    And thank you, ma’am for the daily encouragement you bring through your blog. Sometimes you’re the one who gives me that swift kick. 😉

  3. “Why hasn’t this been taught??? Why was I told if I do my best, life will work out as it should? God is not about karma, yet we’ve taken that philosophy and have taught it in the church. ”

    Why has this not been taught? Why have you not ‘listened’ – why did you place so much trust in what a person taught you ( in church perhaps) and not what LIFE teaches you?

    Did you not learn this lesson well from Tam’s Blog and her visit to stay with Jenni Clayville? The sudden death of two good men and christian husbands and fathers and sons in a plane crash on their way to attend a funeral? Leaving behind grieving widows and fatherless children as well as friends and family?

    What lesson does life teach us – That God does only Good to Good men??

    i don’t think so!

    Be assured – as many have already learned to their cost – that as there is Feast and Famine, Drought and Flood so to will be our Faith ‘tested’ in both feast and famine, flood and drought – times when we are so sure God is close to us and protecting us from harm, but also when we will feel like he has deserted me (Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?) and we are being punished.

    it’s the way He works.

    Hold fast to your Wisdom – that we are to praise Him in all things, give thanks in all things and press on regardless of what we are presented with, good OR bad.

    Taking care to ensure you have SOME rest but never giving in to weariness or lazyness. Or conviction we have done ‘enough’ and can rest forever in this life and our Journey to ‘meet’ Him.

    and lastly, a reminder to put Him First Always – never what ‘i will…’, but rather as He Wills.

    🙂

    <B

  4. Thanks, Love, for agreeing with my rhetorical questions. 😉

    I’ve never understood the teaching of “Life will go well for you if you just follow the Lord’s commands.” That wasn’t at all what Jesus taught: In this life you will have trouble, but do not be afraid, I have overcome the world.

    I live in the buckle of the Bible belt and, unfortunately, in the Mecca of a well-known Faith Movement, which, if looked into closely, one will find the teaching is actually an Eastern mysticism philosophy. This teaching has permeated the Church. And we, my husband and I, have had to deal with much of this thinking through good-willed people trying to find a reason for my illness.

    Yes, I do believe in the law of sowing and reaping, but that is far different than the ridiculous, but best-selling book, The Law of Attraction. When we take a little of this religion and a little of that philosophy and mix it all together, we come up with a “religion” all our own. A conglomeration of thought that is contrary to the principles set forth in scripture.

    So thanks, again, for reiterating that life is not fair and bad things do happen to good people. But still, in it all, we are to trust our Redeemer and give Him praise.

  5. Nor – i never studied Art – and i prefer my rhetoric ‘raw’ and not overly ‘elegant’ or i tend to ‘miss it’ 😉

    Sis – see above 😉

    i fully concur with you on your last comment and can appreciate what you and Phat may have had to endure beyond your illness, in and of itself!

    i would point out however, concerning the coming up with a religion of our own that is contrary to the Principles (ALL of them not merely the ones they want you to ‘see’) set down in Scripture is by NO MEANS the exclusive province of those who look outside Christianity for their version of ‘Faith’ – it is most certainly alive and ‘well’ all throughout the branches of Christianity, as i see it 😉

    i may have to keep a sharper eye out for the elegant rhetoric of yours in the future 🙂

    ♥ ♥ ♥

    <B

  6. Ha-ha…My rhetoric…elegant rhetoric?!? Stumbling, confusing and irritating are the modifiers I’d use, Love! 😉 I think Nor was referring to the rhetoric I grew up hearing…although convincing (I believed the words/teaching) it was conniving (twisting/deceiving my thinking).

    And I’d have to agree with you, again, Love. 🙂 I see the many “branches of Christianity” a result of exactly that, our desire to focus on some point of doctrine we see as vital instead of choosing to study and know the Word (in letter and Spirit) as it is written. I believe the majority of Christians are biblically illiterate, to be perfectly honest. 😐

    Let’s keep working on this communicating. I would hate to lose my most frequent commenter and long lost brother — from another mother! 😆

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  7. Deal Sis 🙂

    never hurts to try to better understand where someone is coming from – especially if you are both hoping to get to the ‘same’ place one day 🙂

    i’ think we do have agreement upon the biblical literacy understanding part 😉

    <B

  8. Hi Michelle:) I’ve had some problems commenting here this week, so I’m trying again.

    Life can be so uncertain. My comfort has been to know that whatever circumstances we find ourselves in God is there, and He knows where we are, and He cares, and He is working out His glorious plan for our lives in His way. It is what gets me through, because who else can we rely on but our God?

  9. I agree, Rain. I’ve put my trust in others, only to be let down. And I know I’ve let others down. None of us are strong enough to take care of another…fully…only God. AND He’s the One who knows what we need, what will bring us closer to Him and further from our sinful desires. The path to holiness is very difficult when He turns up the fire, excruciatingly, at times…but I do want the work to be done on this side of the throne, as much as He sees fit.

    Does that make sense? Thanks for being persistent in commenting. I enjoy/learn from your input! 😉

  10. It makes sense Michelle, it is like being between that rock and hard place. We want Jesus, but the fire hurts, so we don’t want the fire, but if that means we don’t have Jesus, we abandon ourselves to the fire in hope of finding Jesus.

    And finding Him makes it all worth it in the end.

  11. Good stuff! Michelle – you are used of God. As is God’s perfect, yet absurd timing. 🙂 Just a few minutes ago (literally) God ministered to me out of this verse in Habakkuk. And here it is again to confirm and encourage! So thank you so much. You are used of God, my friend. Good words too. The balance there is … definitely a delicate one. I suppose everything is. So easy to fly off course. Thank goodness He picks us up. So faithful. Love you!

  12. “So easy to fly off course. Thank goodness He picks us up. So faithful.”

    Amen, Sparkle!

    The unfailing love of the LORD never ends!
    By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.
    Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each day.
    ~Lamentations 3:22-23

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