Posted on 01/15/2006 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.
Good morning, it's great to see you here today. I'm suffering from the effects of a nasty sickness I'm overcoming, so bare with me, and look forward to a short message.
Our Scripture passage for today is from Ecclesiastes chapter 3, verses one through eight:
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.
Let's pray. Father God, thank you for this brand new day of this brand new week. Thank you for being here with us this morning. Speak to us by your Holy Spirit. May your Word come alive in us this morning. And it's in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
You know, if you're anything like me, you just might tend to think that it should always be the time for peace, always the time to gain, always the time to dance, always the time to laugh, always the time to heal, and always the time to live.
It would be nice if this were so. But we see from Scripture and from life itself that this indeed is not the case.
Consider Job, who pleased God in all he did, and yet God allowed satan to take away his family, his posessions, and his health. Job was in torment, and God allowed it. It was Job's time to weep, Job's time to mourn, Job's time to lose, and Job's time to be torn.
It's a fact of life, there is a season for everything, and a time for every purpose under heaven.
When Jesus was praying on the night of his betrayal, Scripture tells us he sweat drops of blood. Physicians will tell us this is because he was experiencing horrific, unimaginable stress. You see, Jesus had a time to be born, and it was his time to die. He had a time to heal, and now was his time to be killed. He had times of laughter, but now he was weeping. He had times to speak, but now was his time to remain silent, as a sheep before his sheerers, as the prophecy about him foretold.
When things are going well in our lives, we find it easy to think that God is good and that he loves us. But when things are not going so well, we suddenly think God has forsaken us, or he's no longer good, or he no longer loves us, or he simply has ceased to exist.
It is at these times we must remember, to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.
And just as there is a time to die, there is also a time for new birth.
Just as there is a time to weep, there is also a time to laugh.
Just as there is a time to mourn, there is also a time to dance.
Just as there is a time to lose, there is also a time to gain.
Just as there is a time of war, there is also a time of peace.
We want the sun to shine all the time, but without the rain our crops will not grow and we will die.
When we struggle with understanding why our loved ones have died, perhaps way before what we think should have been their time, we should remember that there is a time to be born, and a time to die.
When we cannot comprehend why the efforts we've poured into something are suddenly rooted up and destroyed, we should remember that there is a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted.
When it is beyond our imagination why we are going through a dark valley and are filled with sorrows and grief, we should remember that there is a time to weep, and time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
When we think it totally unfair that we have experienced loss, and things we hold dear have been taken away, we should remember that there is a time to gain, and a time to lose.
When we are at a loss of words and can only give a silent hug, or when we know we must speak out but are afraid to break the silence, we should remember that there is a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
When we are tempted to think that all war is wrong, or perhaps that God is falling down on the job because there is war, we should remember that there is a time of war, and a time of peace.
The thing we must always remember is that no matter what season of life we're going through, God is right there with us, and he promises that if we only trust in him, he will always bring us through.
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.
We usually have an altar call at this time, but today we'll do things a bit differently. The ministry team can stand but not come forward. These are people who are here to pray with you and listen to you. If you need prayer or wish to share a struggle you're going through, right-click or apple-click one of these and select Send IM.
Perhaps you have not yet given your heart to Jesus. Now is the time of salvation -- your time to find peace, to be healed, and to find true love. Talk to one of these.
Perhaps you have struggled with things that have happened in your life, and have wondered if God was there, or where he was, or where he is now. Talk to one of these.
I will go stand in one of the pews for prayer as well.
The rest of you can go next door to the fellowship room, where we will all meet in a few minutes for a time of fellowship.
"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with you all." (2 Thessalonians 3:16)