God's Appointed Time

June 18th, 2014

Have you ever experienced a shift in your life — a new season — a time for some things to end or a time for a new beginning? Or have you ever gone through so much that you wonder if things will ever change? Or have you ever wondered why certain things are happening at a certain time? Of course you have. I have often heard our elders say, “Just keep a livin’ and hold on until your change comes.”

It is human nature to make an attempt to control our circumstances. We spend many waking hours planning to make things happen, or to prevent certain things from happening. However, there are seasons in our lives that are appointed by God. According to the Scripture found in Ecclesiastes 3:1; “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” In other words, there are appointed times for specific events to occur in life that are totally out of our control.

Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes understood this concept. He realized that time moves without us because it ultimately belongs to God. He understood the value of life, and submitted to God as the almighty and Sovereign Creator. Therefore, he humbly accepted that he could not fully understand nor could he control various events in his life.

We remember and catalog specific events in life through the use of clocks, which measure time, and calendars which aid in combining hours into days, weeks, months and years. This is man’s designation of time. However, man’s designation of time is rooted in God’s created system of time.

The book of Genesis explains that God created heaven and earth in six days, and on the seventh day, he rested. God had a set organized schedule as he spoke the world into existence. The earth did not just evolve. Time didn’t just happen. God set the sun and moon in motion to rise and set at certain times, therefore creating night and day. God determined how many hours would be in a day.

God set nature in place, along with his creation of vegetation and every created being. The seasons of Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer depend on the rotation of the earth and its cycles. At certain points in time, portions of the earth are closer to or further away from the sun, therefore creating cold and hot seasons. Each season is characterized by temperature and other natural occurrences, which also provide the atmosphere for the next season to arrive. The cycle goes on and on. Man has no authority or power over the seasons and what happens in each one of them. No matter how devastating, how intense or perhaps meek the season, there is a reason behind each activity of each season. Man can track it, but man cannot fully explain it.

And so it is with life! This is what King Solomon expressed in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Verse 2 reads: “A time to be born, and a time to die.” In other words, every life is appointed by God. But the time spent here on earth is just seasonal. Our days are numbered. God controls the time of birth and death. No one lives on earth forever. There is an appointed season when we will transition from this earth to join Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior who had an appointed time to die for the remission of our sins. Likewise, he has an appointed time of return. Verse 2 continues with the thought that there is a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted. In essence, there are times when we will see the fruit of our labor, but there are times when we will just labor and wonder who and what are we laboring for!

Verse 3 reads: “A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up.” In other words, there are appointed times for all relationships, good health and career opportunities, etc. Verse 4 reads: “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Life will bring sorrow and pain, trials and tribulations. This too shall pass into a season of victory and triumph, healing and laughter. You must trust God to bring restoration in his own way, in his own time.

Furthermore, verse 5 reads: “A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.” There may be times in your life where you have no one to turn to. You may experience a time of loneliness and no one to confide in or to pray with you. This may be the season when God wants you to focus on his embrace and not the embrace of another human being. These times of stillness are seasons when God pours wisdom, direction, strength and courage into your heart. This is the season where passion and intimacy in our relationship with God is deepened.

Finally, Solomon climaxes his list of seasonal descriptions of life in verses 6-8: “There is 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.” In other words, no one knows the mind of God. His ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts. No one shares God’s knowledge. Therefore, as human beings we must trust God’s leading through our comforter and helper, the Holy Spirit. We can never truly be certain that any time is the “right time.” We cannot accurately predict what will happen next, during or after this life. This knowledge lies with God alone. Situations are seasonal and seasons are controlled by God who “has made everything beautiful in its time” (verse 11).

I am reminded of the promise that God made to Abraham, that he would be the father of a great nation. He and his wife Sarah experienced a season of barrenness. It appeared as if the promise of having a child would never come to pass. They tried to manufacture their own deliverance by producing a child through Sarah’s servant Hagar. But at a set time — a season appointed by God – even through Abraham was 100 years old, and his wife Sarah was 90 – God decided that the child Issac would be born. Issac was God’s promise. He was a part of God’s master plan.

So please be encouraged saints! All of life’s experiences can be categorized into God’s appointed timing. Whatever the season, I encourage you today to trust in God’s Appointed Time. Understand that adversity is God’s opportunity to usher you into a season of peace and blessings. It will all work out for your good.

God’s Appointed Time can be summarized in the words spoken by God through the prophet Isaiah: “I have declared the former things from the beginning; they went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.” 

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