“In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.” Ecclesiastes 7:14 AMP
This verse confused me until I had a season one could call the opposite of prosperous.
When things go well, it’s easy to be joyful, and being cheerful isn’t hard when things go our way. We find ourselves thanking God freely and with deep-felt gratitude. But when the current of our river changes direction, we struggle to see God and have even more difficulty giving him our thanks.
This scripture tells us that both seasons, the prosperous and the days of adversity, are by His design. God has ordained the time and place for everything (Ecc 3:1), and He works all things together for His good (Rom 8:28).
It is easy to see God in the good and thank him. But we often believe he is absent during the bad times, and that’s not what Ecclesiastes says. Whether good time or bad, crazy or calm, wading through poor choices of our own doing or out of our control, God has allowed it (Prov 16:4).
It’s the last part of Ecclesiastes 7:14 that I didn’t grasp. “…that man should find nothing after him.” Giving thanks to God in everything, good and bad, creates a dependence on Him. It trains us to find joy in all circumstances and reminds us we have no reason to complain.
But our response is a conscious decision to see and seek the good and give God glory no matter the outcome.
In Matters of the Heart, book three in my Discerning God’s Best series,* Hans and Katie struggle to see God in the details of their lives. They each have experienced tremendous hardships that have the potential to destroy them. Only when a young, formerly enslaved person and an aging circuit preacher enter their lives can they see God working when he seems absent.
If you haven’t read the other books in this series, start with Deep in my Heart. This novella is the prequel to the series and is only available by signing up for my monthly newsletter.
Do you have an example of when God met you where you were? Whether in the valley or on top of the mountain, I’d enjoy hearing your story. Please leave a comment below so I can connect with you.
*Please note this is an affiliate link. As always, it costs you nothing extra, and it all goes to my chocolate fund.