“Consider God’s work! Who can straighten what God has made crooked? When times are good, enjoy the good; when times are bad, consider: God has made the former as well as the latter so that people can’t discover anything that will come to be after them” (Ecclesiastes 7:13-14, CEB).
How great is God’s work in His Creation. God knows exactly how He has made us and what we need to live fulfilling lives.
These verses notify us that although God is sovereign, our lives aren’t predetermined. Good times and bad times are both part of life. They make life a crooked path.
This crooked path is a formula for hope: Without the good times we would be hopeless and without the bad times we wouldn’t be hopeful. And, if we always knew what was coming our way in life, then we wouldn’t have hope.
Here’s the New Testament equivalent of these verses from Ecclesiastes: “We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope. Who hopes for what they already see? But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:24-25, CEB).
Hope is a crooked path. The ups and downs and twists and turns of life generate hope for a better life, hope for a meaningful life, hope for eternal life!
And, it’s this crooked path of hope that leads us straight to God.
We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5, CEB)