By James Lee
For man also does not know his time: Like fish taken in a cruel net, Like birds caught in a snare, So the sons of men are snared in an evil time when it falls suddenly upon them.” – Ecc. 9:12
In this verse, King Solomon the wisest highlights that in this life, no one knows his appointed time! Thus as a reminder, anything can happen. Fret
not, be anxious not, and carry on to enjoy life to the fullest with godly righteousness in mind!
There is such a thing as an unfortunate time. However, this is not to be confused with luck. A little mind-boggling thought here, is there such a
thing as luck?
According to the definition by Meriam Webster, luck is a force that brings good fortune or adversity. What is this force created by us? Don’t think anyone really knows but for some, it is believed that it can be obtained or controlled superstitiously such as feng shui or tarot card reading.
Thinking deeper, everything actually is a chain reaction to everything in this world. One person’s decision affects another, which then affects his
surroundings and others and so on until it may eventually come to you, whether it’s a fortunate or unfortunate thing.
However, due to our limited minds, we think of it as chance or luck. Something good happens, oh, it’s good luck! Something bad, oh… bad luck.
However, it is because we are not even close to being able to comprehend how everything in this world ties together. Take for example our earth-orbiting so perfectly around the sun, just far enough from the sun to sustain life. Luck? I think not. Our God is great with His majestic design! Job 38 shows this well.
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?” – Job 38:4-5.
God does not choose or predetermine that James Lee, on a certain date and time, will be struck with bird poop landing on his head and he would be an-
noyed. Let’s see how he would react and if he’ll be able to manage his anger.
No, God does not. No such thing as the theory of predestination where God has already chosen who will be saved and who will not be. In the above scenario, it is just an unfortunate event that through some chain reaction of
one event leading to another, it landed on James Lee who happened to be passing by at the very same time the bird decides to poop.
But then we might ask, why does God allow unfortunate things to happen? As Christians, we are blessed to know that it is for our own learning and growth in faith and character.
During unfortunate events, though painful and sorrowful at times, we should turn to God and rely on Him even more! God wants us to rely on Him though he does not intend for unfortunate things to happen to us but He knows that they will also make us better people if we rely on Him.
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” – 2 Cor. 12:10.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” – James 1:2-3.
“And not only that but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” – Romans 5:3-4.
God loved us so much that He gave up Jesus to suffer an agonizing death on the cross. He was able to perform miracles as the Son of God, but as a man, he went through human pain and suffering. At the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked His Father three times that this cup be passed from Him.
“Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death Stay here and watch with Me.’ He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will’” – Matthew 26:38-39.
This sends chills down my spine. You can actually feel the humanity in Jesus and the sheer amount of physical and mental pain as He prayed. Nevertheless, He continued on for He knew that God’s will must be done for the salvation of mankind.
See, God loves us so much that He wants us to trust and love Him genuinely from our sincere hearts.
Yes, God sees the outcome of everything since the beginning and intervenes when necessary throughout the days of the earth. But keeping in mind, He does not fetter the free will of man.
Imagine yourself as a parent. Would you want to alter your children’s free will to love you back? No, I think not, you would want your efforts to be sincere and have the joyous opportunities of receiving true love back.
That is how our heavenly Father wants to feel with us all, His children. God has laid the plan of salvation for us all since the very beginning with Abraham. “In your seed, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed because you have obeyed My voice” – Genesis 22:18.
Abraham’s seed leads to Jesus, which means that from the very beginning, God already knows humanity’s fate and set out His plan of salvation for us all. Knowing this, one might say if God knows the end, wouldn’t He know who will be saved and not saved? Like does God have a preference? No. God loves us all first and He wants all to be with Him up in Heaven (1 Tim 2:3-4; 2 Pet 3:9). But He does not control our hearts to choose what we want to pursue.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” – John 3:16.
God executes His plan of salvation without interfering with the free will of man. Jesus knew what was going to happen and that thing happened exactly as He said would happen. Such was the case of Peter denying Jesus.
“But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are saying!’ Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He
had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So Peter went out and wept bitterly” – Lk 22:60-62.
In this case, Jesus knew that Peter will deny Him and told Peter specifically when that will happen in great detail. Peter denied it with confidence not
knowing that Jesus already knew the outcome. And true enough, it happened just as Jesus has said it would. Peter on his own free will denied Jesus though he was warned about it beforehand.
Thus this implies that God (and Jesus) can see the future, and can even tell you about it beforehand but in the end, the outcome would still be the same although you may know about it beforehand be it a fortunate or unfortunate event. This refers to God’s foreknowledge (i.e. He knows beforehand or ahead of our time). However, this should not be misunderstood to mean that God caused us to do something against our
own free will (James 1:13-15).
Having said that, what God truly knows we will never know all of it because God does not reveal everything to us.
“Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite” -Psalms 147:5.
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” – Deut. 29:29.
Any unfortunate event that happens is part and parcel of life and it can happen to anyone as it is a by-product of all decisions from all made throughout this life.
As King Solomon mentioned, no one knows his unfortunate time. But if it does happen to you, count it a blessing that it is an obstacle for us Christians to pull through together with God’s help to become better Christians. And
don’t think that God does not love you.
The underlying message is that God loves us and we in turn should trust and love Him wholeheartedly.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.” – Ecc. 12:13.