EVERYTHING'S GONNA BE ALL RIGHT!
TEXT: Ecclesiastes 8:12
INTRODUCTION: Amtrak accident that occurred in Maryland in 1987. In that accident, the Amtrak engineer was smoking marijuana and drinking and was not paying attention to the warning lights on the track. As a result, he allowed his passenger train to collide with a freight train. In the collision, dozens of people were either seriously injured or killed. The engineer served 5 years in prison.
In Kentucky, a drunk driver hit a church activity bus head on. The fuel tank on the bus ruptured and 27 people, mostly teenagers, on the bus were burned to death. The drunk driver served a nine year sentence and is now free.
Those are horrible incidents, and in each of them it seems like those where the most innocent suffered the greater trial. Life is like that sometimes! There are times when it seems that trouble comes to those who ought to enjoy the fullest of life's blessings.
That is the problem the writer of Ecclesiastes is dealing with in this passage and it is a problem that we all deal with from time to time. It is a problem that I would like to address this morning.
Even though we look around us and see injustice and trouble coming to people and we may wonder why. Even though we all go through times of struggle and question the reason behind it in our own lives. Even though some of you may be there this morning, I want to tell you and show you from God's Word that Everything's Gonna Be All Right! Let's learn that truth from the Word Of God This Morning! That's right! No matter how it looks right now, Everything's Gonna Be All Right. Let me prove it.
I. THE PROBLEM THAT BOTHERS US
A. Verse 12 reminds us of the age old question that has plagued the heart of man since the dawn of time: "Why do the righteous suffer while the wicked prosper?" Verse 14 clearly lays out the problem experienced by the Preacher. This is a question that is addressed many times in the word of God.
1. It is the focus of the book of Job!
a) By the way, Job's "friends" concluded that the righteous do not suffer. Therefore, Job's trials were in reality the result of Job's sins! Many people still have that opinion in our day!)
2. It is also the focus of Psalm 73. Asaph is nearly to the point of giving up as he witnesses the prosperity of the wicked and the trials of the righteous.
3. Psalm 37 also deals with this problem, as does Psalm 49.
B. The idea that serving God brings with it immunity from trials has caused many suffering saints to become disillusioned and has them to quit serving the Lord.
1. Serving the Lord does bring with it many benefits.
2. If you are saved, you are the partaker of a list of benefits that is too long to mention this morning.
a) Some of which are: Salvation, forgiveness of sin, a home in heaven, the presence of God, the promise of His help and provision, etc.
b) However, most of them are spiritual in nature, while most of our trials happen in the physical realm.
c) That is why we often have a problem accepting the things that come our way.
C. If we are not careful, when the trials of life begin to multiply in our lives, we might come to the same conclusion that the preacher came to in Ecclesiastes,
1. Ecc. 1:2; Ecc. 2:23. We might just come to the place where we think that all of life, especially the rewards of living for the Lord, are just a waste of time.
2. Let me just remind you that there are no accidents with the Lord!
"When a cowboy applied for an insurance policy, the agent asked, "Have you ever had any accidents?"
After a moment's reflection, the applicant responded, "Nope, but a bronc did kick in two of my ribs last summer, and a couple of years ago a rattlesnake bit me on the ankle."
"Wouldn't you call those accidents?" asked the puzzled agent.
"Naw," said the cowboy. "They both did it on purpose!"
D. We have discussed the problem, this morning, and it is a problem that we all deal with at one time or another.
E. Now, let's allow the Lord Jesus to help us to achieve the proper perspective on this subject. Notice what He said in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
1. According to the Lord, as we move through life we can expect that there will be pressure placed upon us from time to time.
2. Even though we know it, as did Job (Job 14:1) it still bothers us when we see the righteous suffer.
II. THE PROMISE THAT BLESSES US
A. The verse goes on to tell us that even though the wicked seem to prosper and the righteous seem to be unjust burdens, things will eventually work out for those who love the Lord.
1. He seems to be reminding us that even our trials have the ability to be turned into triumphs.
A man who was deep in debt had to walk past the door of a wealthy businessman each day. The rich man, who had no idea what it was like to be poor, learned of the debt-ridden man's plight and observed that he seemed very downcast. One day, as the poor man walked by, the wealthy man threw a heavy bag out the door. It struck the passerby, slightly injuring him. Seeing no one around, he picked up the bag and began to limp away. As he did, he heard the clinking of coins. He opened the bag and to his amazement found enough money to pay off his debt. Just then he heard a voice from the businessman's door, calling, "Keep it; it's yours."
2. Sometimes troubles hit us like that heavy bag, knocking us down and causing us injury. But God can bring great gain into our lives through these burdens and trials.
B. That is why I am glad that I can report to you this morning that Everything's Gonna Be All Right!
1. It may look bad for you this morning, but in the end, things are going to work out just like God has planned!
2. You may ask, what has God planned? He has planned nothing but the best for His children,
Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor, 4:17; Jer. 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
C. Allow me just to touch on a few areas of life where the devil likes to tell us that we are wasting our time. That things are not going to work out and all is vanity and vexation of spirit. Yet, I want to tell you, by the Word of God this morning that everything is going to be all right!
1. The Area Of Our Trials –
a) When the burdens of life begin to pile up on us, there us a tendency to want to throw in the towel.
b) Let me just remind you that the Lord is working in your life and Everything Is Gonna Be All Right! You may not can see that this morning, but God will work it out in the end!
A pastor whose son had committed suicide stood up to preach only ten days later. The text he chose was Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
After reading the verse aloud, he was obviously having trouble continuing. He said, "I cannot make my son's suicide fit into this passage. It's impossible for me to see how anything good can come out of it. Yet I realize that I only see in part. I only know in part.
"It's like the miracle of the shipyard. Almost every part of our great oceangoing vessels are made of steel. If you take any single part--be it a steel plate out of the hull or the huge rudder-- and throw it into the ocean, it will sink. Steel doesn't float! But when the shipbuilders are finished, when the last plate has been riveted in place, then that massive steel ship is virtually unsinkable.
"Taken by itself, my son's suicide is senseless. Throw it into the sea of Romans 8:28, and it sinks. Still, I believe that when the Eternal Shipbuilder has finally finished, when God has worked out His perfect design, even this senseless tragedy will somehow work to our eternal good.") That is the response to trouble that we are looking for as we move through our trials this evening.
2. The Area Of Our Salvation –
a) How many times has the devil, or your own flesh, tried to tell you that you are wasting your time trying calling yourself a Christian?
b) How many times has the devil tried to convince you that you were not saved? Now, I don't know if you are saved or not, but I can say that if you have trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, then you have some wonderful promises that tell you clearly that Everything's Gonna Be All Right!
c) Notice: John 10:28; Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:1; John 5:24; John 6:37. The list could go on and on. If you are genuinely trusting Jesus Christ this morning then don't let the devil mess with you! If you are God's child, then Everything's Gonna Be All Right!
3. The Area Of The Church –
a) We are living in a day when people, even those who claim to be saved, are turning away from the church.
b) If we aren't careful, we will allow the devil, and our own foolish thinking convince us that the church is in trouble and that she's going down.
c) Well, I just want to remind you thins morning that Everything's Gonna Be All Right where the church is concerned! Remember what Jesus said: "...upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.", Matt. 16:18.
d) This house is His house and He will take care of it. By the way, when did He ever promise us that the church would always stay on the mountain top? He never did!
e) There will be times when the church will walk through the valley, but we must learn to keep our eyes on Jesus and He will bring us through that valley back to clear air of the mountaintop!
If we aren't careful, we will become sidetracked at church! It has happened to me! Imagine that! You get so focused on who isn't there and what their problem might be that you forget about the one's who are there. In other words, we can get to the place where we miss the forest for the trees! May the Lord help us to remember that the church is His investment and He will tend to it! Our sole duty in regard to the church is to be obedient to what the master has called us to do. If we are doing that to which He has called us, then the rest is His responsibility!
4. The Area Of The Future –
a) One of the greatest worries that occupies our minds concerns this question: What will happen in the future?
b) Really, we spend much of our time worrying about what might happen.
c) Well, let me just tell you this morning that Everything's Gonna Be All Right in the future!
d) I might as well tell you now that there will be trials and there will be valleys.
e) But, there will also be blessings and times of great victory. There will be good times and there will be bad times in the future, but through them all, remember that we serve a God Who is already in the future and He has promised to go with us there to lead us safely through, Heb. 13:5.
f) Whatever the future may hold for you, remember that your Heavenly Father has personally designed your future and whatever comes your way first had to receive His divine approval!
5. Just remember that in every area of life, Everything's Gonna Be All Right!
Concclusion J. W. Bramhall says, "Sorrow can lead us into one of four lands: the barren land in which we try to escape from it; the broken land in which we sink under it; the bitter land in which we resent it; or the better land in which we bear it and become a blessing to others."
I wonder this morning, where are our trials leading us? Do you really believe that everything's gonna be all right? If there are doubts, why not let the Heavenly Father sooth them this morning? He can help you to safely navigate the troubled waters of trial and affliction.
There is a story told about a certain handicapped high school student. Although the crutches on which he hobbled kept him from being physically active, he excelled in his studies and was well liked by his peers. They saw the problems he had getting around, and they sometimes felt sorry for him, but for a long time nobody asked him why he had this difficulty. One day, however, his closest friend finally did. "It was polio," answered the student. The friend responded, "With so many difficulties, how do you keep from becoming bitter?" Tapping his chest with his hand, the young man replied with a smile, "Oh, it never touched my heart."
My friends, that is what the Lord Jesus can do for you and for me if we will face our trials with faith knowing that everything's gonna be all right!