The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Solomon concluded that God is sovereign as he considered the times of life and their purpose. He has seen that God can use the burdens of life for good. Ecclesiastes 3: 11 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.[1]

Solomon wanted to know the purpose of life, but as he looked at the seasons, he realized that he couldn’t see nor fully comprehend God’s plan. There are different times in life, but God does not always reveal them fully to us; they remain mysteries. It will not be until we enter eternity that we will understand God’s complete plan.

Walk by Faith

As we study Scripture, we discover that the more we know, the more we don’t know. I think this deepens the wonder and awe of the sovereign wisdom of God. Jesus called us to have trust like a child. Matthew 19: 14 But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” [2]

Children do not understand the workings of the world but simply trust their parents to care for them. It is the same with us and our Heavenly Father. We may not understand what He is doing, but we can trust He is good and will care for us.

God’s Purpose is That We Should Fear Him

We have not begun to fear God until we recognize and trust God’s wisdom. We should not be in terror of Him but respect and honor Him. If we try to live without acknowledging God, we will find ourselves, like Solomon, empty, dissatisfied, and thinking life is meaningless. We must look to God for the final word.

Ecclesiastes 3: 14 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.[3] Most of life’s struggles come when we want to be in charge instead of humbling ourselves before God. At times we are offended when God doesn’t do it our way; some will even abandon their faith. But we must realize that whatever God does is final, and He knows best.

How can life be meaningless when God has made us part of His eternal plan? If you have trusted Jesus, God is preparing an eternal home for you. If we fear God, we need not fear anything else, for God is sovereign.

To learn more, listen here:

[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Tyndale House Publishers.

Solomon saw that God had given us gifts to enjoy in this life. Ecclesiastes 3: 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. [1]

Earlier, Solomon had found life meaningless. Ecclesiastes 1: Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.[2] As he refocused on God, he found a way to enjoy life.

Enjoying the Work of Our Hands

Solomon is not encouraging pagan hedonism but rather enjoying God’s gifts resulting from our labor, no matter how difficult life may be. Enjoying our food and drink is a simple but profound part of life. Material things give momentary pleasure, but true enjoyment is a gift from God. We can delight in the material blessings God permits to come to us through our work. Godly joy recognizes that every good gift comes from above.

God is a Joy Giver

As Solomon considered all the different times in life, he could see that life on this earth is temporary. But God is eternal and has created us to be eternal. Life is meaningful and enjoyable when we live for Him and let Him have His way. Many see God as a cosmic joy-killer, but God delights in human enjoyment. This picture is different from what most people think life is like as they serve the living God.

God was willing to send His Son to redeem and restore our joy:

John 15:11 I (Jesus) have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! [3]

John 16: 13 “I (Jesus) told them (the disciples) many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.[4] 

We have a Savior who came to restore what sin corrupted and give us joy. Instead of complaining about what we don’t have, let’s enjoy what we do have and thank God for it.

To learn how God has given us gifts to enjoy, listen here:

[1-4 Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ec 3:11–13). Tyndale House Publishers.

Ironically, Solomon speaks of eternity in our hearts in a passage about time. Merriam-Webster defines eternity as infinite time or a seemingly endless or immeasurable time.[1] God created humankind in his image, which is eternal. As a result, we are concerned about the future and desire to understand the beginning from the end. We have a sense there is something that transcends our situation.

Created to be Different

Humans are the only worshipping animal. Evolution can’t explain this quality. If you look at a well-fed dog in front of a fire on a cold day, he is satisfied. If we take a person and put them in the same position, soon they will feel a sense of restlessness. We search for what is beyond what we can feel or sense.

St Augustine prayed, “Thou has made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until we learn to rest in Thee.”[2]

God designed our hearts with a hole that can only be filled with Him. This explains why no one, including Solomon, can be satisfied with their accomplishments. Only when we allow God to enter our hearts and place His plan and purpose there can this restlessness be satisfied.

Redeemed for Eternity

God did create us in His image, but sin corrupted this. Romans 3: 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. [3] This eternity in our heart or God consciousness is still part of our nature, although sin suppresses it. Romans 1: 18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.[4]

But through His love, God sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem and restore us. Romans 3: 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.[5]

As we believe and trust Jesus, we have the promise of eternity with Him. 1 John 2: 24 So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. 25 And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.[6]

To learn more about eternity in our hearts, listen here:


[2] Stedman, Ray, 1999, Is This Alll There is to Life, Discovery House Publishers, Grand Rapids, MI, p.51.

[3-6] Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. 

Solomon has seen how we have burdens in life. But then he goes on to say everything is beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3: 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. [1] What is beautiful? All the things that Solomon listed before this. Some of these things we would not consider beautiful. There is a time to die, kill, tear down, cry, and grieve. These are not pleasant but are included in the part that is made beautiful.

We have seen how God can use burdens to grow our faith. So the things we struggle with in life are used to make us stronger. That is certainly one way that these times can be beautiful. We don’t need to consider difficult times to be curses and obstacles; instead, God can use these times to bless us.

Can Enemies Be Beautiful?

A friend listed groups of people that he had learned from in life. This list included heroes, models, mentors, peers, and friends. And then he added one more group, enemies. I was confused. He went on to explain. While enemies often have opposite opinions, they attack and expose our motives. If we are willing to listen to them, they expose our self-centeredness, self-righteousness, and arrogance.

Now, some discernment is needed as we sort through charges made by our enemies. We must differentiate truth from lies. But our enemies can be brutally honest and reveal blindspots in our lives. We may not see the problem, but they have no trouble telling us about it. We can’t fix a problem until we know there is one. So, if we are willing to do some self-discovery, our enemies can give us valuable information. They become beautiful in their time.

Jesus Commanded Us to Love Our Enemies

Matthew 5: 43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.[2] 

Luke 6: 27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.[3]

John 13: 34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.[4] 

Jesus commands us to love each other because He loves us, and we follow His way. Another reason Jesus told us to love our enemies is because they can give us vital information. It may be painful to hear, but useful in the long run. Even our enemies can become beautiful in their time.

To learn more about beautiful in its time, listen here:

[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.

We know there are burdens in life. Solomon speaks of these. Ecclesiastes 3: What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all.[1] Solomon questioned the worth of hard work in the first two chapters of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes 1: What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?[2] And now, after looking at the times of life, Solomon repeats the question.

Hard work is only one of the burdens that we have in this life. Given a choice, we would choose a life free from problems. But what would we be like in a problem-free life? I think it would ruin us. God knows that people protected from everything are impossible to live with. They become selfish, cruel, shallow, and unprincipled. They can’t identify with others and their problems.

Paul’s Burden

The Apostle Paul gives us insight into his burdens and how God used them in his life. Romans 5: We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love[3].

Paul faced all kinds of spiritual opposition as a missionary taking the Gospel out to the known world. It wasn’t easy; at times, it was burdensome. Yet, God used these times to grow Paul’s faith and to make him a better evangelist.

He knew he needed God’s help along the way because he couldn’t control the times. Solomon had come to the same conclusion. He had listed times of life at the beginning of chapter three, but he was not in control of them. If Solomon only looked at hard work from a worldly point of view, it was meaningless.

God Uses Our Burdens

Just as an athlete works out to prepare for the game, God uses the burdens of life to grow our faith. There are times when we must set aside our will for God’s. We grow to depend on God in our struggles, and our relationship deepens.

After Paul showed how the burdens of life change us, he goes on to say: Romans 5: 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

May the burdens in life lead you to a deeper relationship with Jesus. To find out more, listen here:

[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Tyndale House Publishers.

Just as seasons make up the calendar year, there are seasons of life. Solomon delineates some of these in his search for the meaning of life. He understood God is a God of order in our lives and seasons.

Warren Wiersbe says, “God is sovereignly in control and has a time and a purpose for everything (Rom. 8:28). This is not fatalism, nor does it rob us of freedom or responsibility. It is the wise providence of a loving Father Who does all things well and promises to make everything work for good.”[1]

Solomon’s Seasons

Solomons wrote 14 couplets to describe the whole range of human activity. He began with the most basic, Ecc.3: A time to be born and a time to die. [2] Then he moved on to creative and destructive activities, emotions, relationships, possessions, and general human activities.

Ecc:3:2b 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. [3]

Seasons are God’s Idea

These seasons are all from God; if we cooperate with God’s timing, life will not be meaningless. I learned an invaluable lesson in a leadership course. There are seasons to life, so transition with them. We are often sad to see a season change, or perhaps the next season is less enjoyable. This results in us getting stuck because we don’t transition. Yet, God has a purpose for each season.

God is in control of all these seasons. As people, we go through times and seasons which are not in our control. We must trust God to lead us through as we transition from season to season. Life is a journey, but God promises to be with us every season. Psalm 23: 3b He (God) guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest alley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.[4]

To learn more about the seasons of life, listen here:

[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be Satisfied (p. 47). Victor Books.

[2-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ec 3:2). Tyndale House Publishers.

Solomon discovered that the world doesn’t satisfy. Solomon was King David’s son and ruled Israel from 971 BC to 931 BC. As a young man, he followed God. He had asked God for wisdom to lead the nation, and God not only gave him wisdom but also riches. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Many of these ladies worshipped idols and led Solomon away from God later in his life.

Solomon had it all and tried it all and still was dissatisfied. He spoke from experience, which colors much of the literature he authored. Scholars credit Solomon with writing most of Proverbs, the entire books of Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes, and several Psalms.

Solomon Looked for the Meaning of Life

Here is Solomon’s search in his own words: Ecclesiastes 1:14 I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind… 17 So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind…  2:1I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless… I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards… So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me… Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure…11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind… 17 So I came to hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling… 24 So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.[1] 

It is Meaningless Without God

As Solomon began the book of Ecclesiastes, he looked at life from the world’s point of view. He built idols to please his many wives and ended up far from God. Because of his wealth and position, he could sample things in life that most of us can only dream of. Yet, as he tried everything the world had to offer, he found it meaningless. Only when Solomon added God back into the equation did anything begin to make sense.

Scripture never records that King Solomon repented and turned back to the Lord, but we have a suggestion in our text that he may have. If you have tried things of the world and been disappointed, look to God. Jesus, God’s Son, came to restore us and give meaning to our lives. John 10: Yes, I (Jesus) am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.[2]

Jesus restores our relationship with God so we can find the real meaning in life. The world doesn’t satisfy us because God has created us with a need for Him. To learn more, listen here:

[1-2] Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. 

Psalm 13 gives us insight into how it is possible to worship while you wait. David was struggling and prayed an honest prayer. It felt like God had deserted him, and he wondered how long before God would come and help him. David needed God to renew him, and as he remembered the lovingkindness of God, he could finish his poem with these words: Psalm 13: I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.[1]

David was sure that God would answer his prayer and was preparing to praise. Even though David was still in his predicament and waiting for God to act, he trusted that the outcome would be good. In fact, the Hebrew word that the New Living translates as good has the connotation of God’s giving exceeding our asking.[2]

Worshipping in the Struggle

It is hard to think about worshipping God when we are down in the dumps. Yet, as we worship, we give the Holy Spirit a chance to open our eyes to the true character of God. This happened as David verbalized his trust in God’s lovingkindness or hesed love. This love acts out of compassion and is the characteristic of God. God still acts this way toward us because God doesn’t change.

When we move the focus from our circumstances to worshiping God, we begin to remember what He has done. Jesus told us to celebrate His supper to remember. Why? We, sinful humans, tend to forget, and Jesus knew that. He designed an action to help us remember what He has done for us. As we get into Scripture, we see many stories of faith. These stories remind us that God is with and for us even in difficult times of waiting.

A Modern Psalm

David wrote Psalm 13 almost a thousand years ago. Even though David’s culture was very different from ours, human nature hasn’t changed, and neither has God. Lincoln Brewster wrote a song called While I Wait which mirrors the thoughts of Psalm 13. Here are part of the lyrics:

Deep within my heart, I know You’ve won. I know You’ve overcome.

 And even in the dark, when I’m undone, I still believe it.

Though I don’t understand it, I will worship with my pain.

You are God; You are worthy. You are with me all the way.

You’re faithful every day, Your promises remain.

So, while I wait, I will worship, Lord. I’ll worship Your name.

Though I don’t have all the answers, still, I trust You all the same.[3]

To learn how to worship while you wait, listen here:

[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 13:6). Tyndale House Publishers.

[2] Kidner, D. (1973). Psalms 1–72: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 15, p. 95). InterVarsity Press.


People trust many things, but David was trusting God’s love. Psalm 13:5a But I trust in your unfailing love.[1] The word used for love here is the Hebrew word hesed. There is no English equivalent, and often translators use blended words to give a better understanding. These combinations are loyal love, steadfast love, faithful love, unfailing love, and loving kindness. Numerous scholars feel “loving kindness” represents hesed best.

“Many biblical words such as mercycompassionlovegrace, and faithfulness relate to the Hebrew word hesed (חֶסֶד), but none of these completely summarize the concept. Hesed is not merely an emotion or feeling but involves action on behalf of someone in need. Hesed describes a sense of love and loyalty that inspires merciful and compassionate behavior toward another person.”[2]

Unfailing Love Leads to Joy

Despite the enemy’s upper hand, despair, and the feeling that God was ignoring him, David trusted God’s unfailing love. By definition, this is the kind of love that acts, and God has not failed to act before. David trusted the compassion of God to bring him relief. This trust is so great that David anticipates joy will come. Psalm 13:5b I will rejoice because you have rescued me.[3]

David can speak of the rescue in the past tense even though it has not happened. I believe David thought God was already at work to rescue him even though he couldn’t see it. Is David planning a victory party to give glory to God? We don’t know, but we can see the depth of his faith in verse five.

Moving from Despair to Joy

Psalm 13 shows that despair and joy can co-exist. David struggled in life, but as he trusted God, he could move to joy. As we live our lives, sooner or later, there will be a struggle, disappointment, or grief. Yet as we refocus on Jesus and His amazing love instead of only our circumstances, joy can co-exist with sorrow.

Colossians 3:1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. [4]

To learn more about trusting God’s love, listen here:

[1,3,4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation  Tyndale House Publishers.


In Psalm 13, David makes an appeal to God’s reputation. He does this in a backdoor manner. Psalm 13:Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.[1] Of course, David didn’t want his enemies to gain the upper hand. Others knew that David followed the true God. If David were to be defeated, this would be a defeat for God. David’s downfall would make God look bad.

David knew the history of God taking care of him. God had taken him out of the sheep pasture to anoint him king. He killed Goliath with the help of God, which helped him become a successful military leader. David knew his previous success was due to God and now asked for continued help to bring victory.

Moses Appealed to God and His Reputation

David appealed to God in a similar way to Moses. After God gave Israel the ten commandments, they promised to follow them. But the Israelites made a golden calf idol while Moses was on the mountain with God. The people had broken their promise and deserved punishment. God threatened to kill them and let Moses’ descendants become His new nation.

Moses interceded for the people based on God’s reputation in the eyes of Egypt. He asked God not to destroy the people. Exodus 32:12 Why let the Egyptians say, ‘Their God rescued them with the evil intention of slaughtering them in the mountains and wiping them from the face of the earth’? Turn away from your fierce anger. Change your mind about this terrible disaster you have threatened against your people![2] At this, God relented; the people received only a plague, not complete destruction. A similar thing happened when the people refused to enter the promised land in Numbers 14.

Faith in God’s Reputation

Verse 4 in Psalm 13 is a turning point emotionally for David. The first two verses are a cry of despair where David asks “how long” four times. Then he demands God pay attention and renew him. As David asks God to give him victory over his enemies, I think David remembers what God has done in the past. It is God’s character to protect and care for His people. At this point, David moves on to trust and worship in verses five and six.

This can be a model for us in our times of despair. We can be honest with God but move forward as we remember God’s reputation. In times of struggle, meditate on the character of God. Study how God intervened in people’s lives throughout Scripture. Then request He do the same for you. He will answer, often in surprising, unexpected ways.

To learn to appeal to God’s reputation, listen here:

[1-2]Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation  Tyndale House Publishers.

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