“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. . . . He hath made everything beautiful in his time” (Eccl. 3:1-11)
If the whole of these eleven verses were read consecutively it will be seen that they furnish a full outline of the many and different experiences of human life in this world, each aspect of a person's varied career and their reactions are being described.
The experiences and trials of this life are all known by God, according to His unerring wisdom. Not only has He appointed a time to every purpose under heaven, nothing is too early, nothing too late. Everything is perfectly coordinated for our spiritual growth and learning as a obedient believer which is recorded in the New Testament;
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
There is a time for each Christian when each life event or breakthrough of spiritual revelation shall come forth, how long it shall continue, and in what circumstances it shall be: all being determined by the Lord. This is true for the world as a whole, for God “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will“ (Eph. 3:11).
Not only has God appointed the particular seasons when each of His creatures shall come forth and flourish, but we are obliged to wait His set time for the same. If we sow seeds in the winter they will not germinate. Plants which sprout in the spring cannot be forced, but have to wait for the summer's sun. So it is in the human realm. “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven”. We cannot put old heads on young shoulders, and such efforts will not only prove unsuccessful but cause disastrous consequences. As everything is “beautiful in his time” they are incongruous and unseemly out of season.
“When I was a child, I spake as a child I reasoned as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11).
All that has been pointed out above is most pertinent to the spiritual growth of the individual Christian, and particularly in the several life stages of his development. In the light of what has been said, it is both interesting and instructive to ponder the ways of God with His people during the Old Testament and New Testament eras by studying His Word.
Just by reading the account of Joseph in the book of Genesis chapters 37 to 50 you get the picture of God’s perfect plan in one man’s life and there are many more wonderful accounts of God guiding lives contained in the Bible.
A believer who experiences periods of perceived non-direction in their lives must use this time for self-examination and confession, while also using the exercise of patience and prayer, including digging into the Word of God. A believer who experiences a time of suffering calls for the same with the addition of the exercise of faith and courage.
It is written “Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious . . . blessed are all they that wait for him” (Isa. 30:18)
Wait for the time He has appointed for the development and manifestation of particular graces. Unseasonable graces are like untimely figs, which are never full flavored. Most of us are too impatient.
“No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous . . . nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Heb. 12:11)
Nothing which lives is brought to maturity immediately in this lower world: instead, everything advances by gradual growth and timely progress. God indeed created Adam and Eve in their full perfection, but He does not regenerate us into our complete understanding in Christ immediately.
All the parts and faculties of the new man come into being at the new birth in Christ, but time and study is needed for their development and manifestation. Moreover, as natural talents are not bestowed uniformly to some being given five, to others two, and to yet others only one (Matthew 25:15), so God bestows different quantities of grace to each obedient believer than to another.
There is therefore a great difference among Christians: all are not in the same stages of understanding, strength, and growth in godliness. Some are “sheep” and others but “lambs” (John 21:15, 16). Some are “strong others are “weak” (Rom. 15:1). Some are but “babes,” and others are of “full age” (Heb. 5:13, 14). Nevertheless, each who follows and keeps his eyes on God and His Word and does not allow himself to be lead astray brings forth fruit “in his season” (Ps. 1:3).