At The Movies

“God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams. When the training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief of staff brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they entered the royal service. Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.” – Daniel 1:17-20.

Average movies entertain us. The best ones inspire us.  There’s nothing like watching a good movie. You’re caught up in the story, on the edge of your seat, feet glued to the floor, a bucket of popcorn in your lap. If you want to laugh—there’s comedy. If you want to cry—there’s a romantic movie. If you want to jump—there are scary movies. Thrills, action, drama—everything we long for, because we love stories. We long for adventure. We long for good triumphing over evil.

The truth is that we are each in the middle of our own story. Whether your story is somewhat boring and predictable or has more twists and turns than you know what to do with, we all want to live well. To face down the problems and troubles of this life. To rescue the besieged settlers just in the nick of time. We all want to leave a legacy that’s more than just a shadow riding off into the sunset.

During the At The Movie series, we unpacked some biblical truths from four Hollywood movies. We have been exploring how movies point us to Jesus and reflect truth we see in the Bible. The point of everything we do is to live like Jesus. The point is to point you towards Jesus. The point is Jesus. Because if we focus on him, it leads us to the right choices in life.   

My hope is that the At The Movies series, reminded us through the The Impossible, Unbroken, All About Time and Mcfarland USA that Christianity is all about Jesus Christ. Everything depends on him. Without Jesus, there is no Christianity, no Christians, and no church. While there are so many things you can find in the Bible, everything points to Jesus and his central importance as the Savior of the world. Jesus should be the focal point of our story.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What was your favorite movie in the At The Movie series?
  2. It is possible to look to Hollywood for real life lessons?
  3. Did any of these movies resonate with your life story?
  4. What can you do this week to get closer to Jesus? 

Everyone Needs Someone To Stay For

“ But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you.”  1 Samuel 12:24

Do you ever wake up some days and wonder, “Why am I even doing this?” I do. I’m not talking being a pastor, but the day-to-day stuff that makes up a pastor’s life. For me, it is usually just a fleeting moment and I push past. Other times it lasts more than a few minutes. Did I make the right decision? Am I sending my time wisely? Am I investing in the people that God has placed in my life?  You get the idea.

Without a reason for what you do, it’s hard to stick with something because things are not always going to be easy. You’re going to wake up not feeling like doing the work sometimes. You’re not always going to want to get involved.

Like Coach White, the answer to those questions is the people that are worth investing and even more importantly, staying for. The coach came to that conclusion when he got off the sidelines and immersed himself in the lives of the cross country runners. You don’t learn what is worth staying for by learning a few principles. You get involved and you get involved so often that the principle becomes real. That is why he stayed at McFarland High School rather than take a more lucrative job.

It is easy to live our lives thinking about ourselves. What am I getting out of this?  Where am I going in my life?  Who is going to help me out?  But true significance comes from how I spend my life in helping others.  A lasting legacy is found in the impact made in the lives of those that you have a chance to influence.

The best reason to stay is to invest in others. We should not be afraid to take the time to invest in the life of someone near you. Time is a precious commodity but the time spent in reaching out to others pays massive dividends that you can’t put a price tag on. As we often say at Northstar, every one of us has a story; a life map of where we have been and what we experienced along the way. The lessons we have learned can help impact someone if you are able and willing to accept them as part of God’s plan. We don’t like the tough lessons and trials that enter our life, but if we learn from these experiences and then share them with others, they can be the building blocks of impact and influence. 

Need a reason to stay the course? Go out and make a difference in someone’s life.  It is really rewarding and I promise you – someone, somewhere is going to someday remember you and be thankful for you and the impact you made in their lives.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does having someone to stay for mean to you?
  2. Some people think leaving a legacy is for older people that are closer to the end of their life. Do you agree? Why or why not.
  3. Who has poured the life of Christ into you? How did that person invest in your Christian life?
  4. What is the responsibility of one generation to invest in the next generation?
  5. What can we do this week to invest intentionally in the lives of others?

Everyone Needs Someone To Invest In

“As Jesus and the disciples left the town of Jericho, a large crowd followed behind.  Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” “Be quiet!” the crowd yelled at them. But they only shouted louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” When Jesus heard them, he stopped and called, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” they said, “we want to see!” Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Instantly they could see! Then they followed him.”   Matthew 20:29-34.

What is a good investment today? Blue chip stocks from a few years ago are no longer blue chips. Financial investing has always been risky, and the risk has increased with a volatile world economy. An investment that always provides a positive return is investing in the lives of people.

People don’t usually put the words “investment” and “people” in the same sentence. It seems strange because most people think of the word “investment” in the realm of finance where you commit money to a stock or bond with the expectation of a future return. But how many people have invested in you and me during our lifetimes. I have often talked about the importance of relationships in the Christian community. It starts with our relationship with God which then flows on to our relationships with one another. Investing in one another is central to accomplishing our purpose of enjoying and declaring the grace of God. McFarland USA is a movie about investing in the lives of migrant farm workers.

How did Jesus go about accomplishing His mission? He invested in His disciples and they, in turn, did the same.  The gospel is alive and well today because one person decided to spend time with another person to be their friend, bring them to Jesus, build them in their faith and equip them to do the same.

Jesus’ encounter with two blind men on the Jericho road reveals several key principles for investing our lives in others. First, we must slow down. Matthew 20:32 says, “Jesus stopped“. What appears to be a rather simple fact is actually a significant step in serving others. Jesus was leaving Jericho. He had another appointment. He had already spent time ministering in Jericho, and now he was going to another town. But, he stopped!  Coach White had a busy schedule but then he noticed something; these kids were fast. Our pace of life often becomes so fast that we speed past opportunities to invest in people. Jesus allowed His temporary schedule to be interrupted for an eternal investment.

We can feel ill-prepared to “invest” in others. “I can’t do that.” “That’s just not me.” “I’m not equipped for that.”  But my experience has taught me that what influences people is not your intellect, knowledge of scriptures, background in psychology, personality or the other things that you would think you would need to invest in others.  What you hear is: “He took time to pray with me.”  “She took a genuine interest in me.” “He helped me understand the Bible.” “I watched her as she told others about Jesus.” “We went to church together.”

My prayer is that Northstar will be a church that invests in people. That we will be people who readily spend time with other people for the purpose of encouragement and growth so they, in turn, would do the same.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Who’s on your radar to “invest” in?
  2. Are you paying attention to the people opportunities God is giving you?  What might be holding you back from helping another person in their Christian growth? 
  3. How do we slow down to see the opportunities that God is giving us?
  4. What can we do this week to start investing in others? 

Because Everyone Needs Someone To Do Life With

“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” — Galatians 6: 2-3.

One of the great realities of the Christian life is that it was meant to be shared together. Jesus knew that the life He was calling his disciples to would be difficult, and that none of us could do this on our own. So he established His church and designed it to function in community. We are totally dependent upon Him, but also upon one another.

In McFarland USA, we see that developing relationships takes time and effort. Those relationships are developed in part by participation in a cross-country team. If you’ve ever run cross-country, long distances, or even marathons, then you will appreciate the importance of support from others. Sometimes it’s the spectators who’ve made the effort to get alongside the track and cheer you along. Sometimes it’s your fellow runners who encourage you. It’s so helpful to have a running buddy who keeps pace with you, urges you up the hills, or sticks with you when you hit the wall. It’s tough trying do it all on your own.

God wants us to be there for each other. As we run the race, we shouldn’t have to do it alone. We’re urged to keep up with one another often. We need each other: the support, the encouragement, the help along the way. The Christian life is not easy and there are so many hills and valleys along the way. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”  

We are urged to consider how – to think in advance – about how we can help each other grow in Jesus. That requires us to understand what they are going through and work on ways to help them. Maybe someone is having trouble with a child, or having financial difficulties or struggling with doubt. Make regular contact with them. Tell them about what you’ve been praying, ask for ways you could help them, show a spiritual interest in them. Look for opportunities to demonstrate Christ-like love for them. 

God gives us community as a way to become more like Him. God’s Word reminds us that we are put in relationships in order to encourage one another in our pursuit of God and His Kingdom. There is something real about the concept of power in numbers. When we are surrounded by other believers, we feel empowered in our faith and may even be more sensitive to God’s presence in our lives. There’s something powerful about believers joining together, making each other accountable and being a sort of witness of one another’s lives. We need people checking in on us, asking the hard questions, and challenging us to really live out our faith. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner.” (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community)

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you have someone or a group of people that you can be authentic, be yourself with, without any facades or false fronts? 
  2. Do you have people that you share your heart with, good and bad?
  3. Small groups are about doing life together. A place where you can grow closer to God, closer to others, and closer to your purpose. Agree or disagree?
  4. If you are not a member of a small group, please consider joining one this semester.

Going The Extra Mile

“Yes,” Samuel replied. “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then Samuel performed the purification rite for Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice, too. When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:5-7

There is a line by Atticus Finch in the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, that says, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”  While we know that intuitively to be true, that does not stop us from jumping the gun, judging the book by the cover, or jumping to conclusions without all the facts. That is what Coach White did when he first arrived in McFarland, California. Most people would have probably related this way. It is the power of the first impression. We are all human, and everyday we make decisions based on nothing else but by what we can see.

John 7:24 says, “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.” Some of the books with the worst covers have been the best book to read. Coach White finds that out over time.  Inner beauty. What is on the inside is what counts. 

In 1 Samuel 16, Samuel is given an assignment: “Now the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king.”

So Samuel did as the Lord instructed. When Samuel was to select the next king of Israel from the sons of Jesse, he made his judgment based on first impressions. First in the line, was Eliab, the eldest son of the family. He was probably handsome and his appearance suitable for a king, for when Samuel saw him, he thought that he was the one; “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” (1 Samuel 16:6) However, when he presented him to the Lord he got a negative reply. As the passage tells us, the Lord, looked at the heart and refused him. Many times it happens to us too. We like something, it looks or sounds good to us and thus we believe this is right for us. 

However, we should never make a decision based on the outer appearance. Had Samuel done this, he would have anointed the wrong man. Instead, we should always consult the One that sees where our senses cannot see: at the heart. Returning to Samuel, after God’s negative reply for Eliab he moved ahead to the next in the “queue”. God’s chosen was not any of the older sons. The Spirit told Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature” (1 Sam. 16:7). God chose David, the youngest, who looked least like a king.

Coach White looked past the first impressions and into the hearts. We can too. God can help us view people through His eyes, for “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. Place yourself in the scene where Coach White has negative first impressions? Would you have reacted differently? How?
  2. Why is it so difficult to move past first impressions? How do you think Coach White moved past his first impressions?
  3. Why is it so easy to judge other people? Have you been judged by someone? How did it make you feel to be judged by that person?
  4. Can judging others lead to being a hypocrite? Why is being hypocritical so harmful to the Christian faith?
  5. What positive steps can we take this week to look past first impressions?

About Time

“Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3.

The world is moving at breakneck speed. Information is overflowing 24 hours a day. As a result, we are busy, busy, busy. Lunch is wolfed down or skipped. When we get home there is still so much to do, so much we want done before finally falling into bed. Time is something we never seem to have enough of. Theologian Jonathan Edwards had this to say in the 17th century: “Upon time we should set a high value, and be exceeding careful that it be not lost; and we are therefore exhorted to exercise wisdom and circumspection, in order that we may redeem it. And hence it appears, that time is exceedingly precious.”

Time is precious. The clock is running. So how do we make the best of it? Most people assume we have put life in overdrive fighting the clock, habitually, as a way of life. But when you study Jesus’ life, He never seemed to be in a hurry. Although He was doing the most important job in history (redeeming the world), and although He knew He only had a few years to do it, He never ran. He made time to talk to people, to heal people, to put his hands on the little children and bless them. Time was His friend.

Every moment we have is a gift from God that must be managed wisely. The challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves. The Bible speaks of “redeeming” the time, which is an even better idea. Paul writes: “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.” (Ephesians 5:15)

The phrase “be careful how you live,” means to be constantly looking around to make the most of every opportunity. We should live, looking for every opportunity to invest time wisely, rather than darting through them. When an opportunity passes, it can’t be reclaimed–it is gone forever. That’s what it means to redeem the time.

If you don’t manage your time – someone else will manage it for you. You can’t save time, or even waste time–you are going to spend it somewhere and invest it in someone. If you don’t control your schedule, someone will always be happy to do it for you. Some people complain they just don’t have enough time to spend with their family or to relax or serve in ministry. You’ve got exactly the same amount of time as everyone else; the question is are we making time for the important areas in our life.    

Discussion Questions:

  1. Contrast how the “wise” spend their time versus the “unwise”. Discuss how we can learn what the Lord wants us to do.
  2. Is there a place for “down-time” in our lives? What should that down-time look like?
  3. Read Matthew 25:14-30: How does this parable of the talents teach us to wisely use opportunities in the limited time we have been given? Do you have any God-given opportunities that you have been neglecting?
  4. Spend some time this week reviewing how you are spending your time. Identify time that can be captured for God’s purposes and redeem it.

Time Waits For No One

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”  Psalm 90:12.

Chico Xavier once said that “Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning… anyone can start over and make a new ending.”  In About Time, Tim had the ability to go back in time to make a new beginning. Hollywood can do that, we cannot.  Tim did not have to wait, we do. 

Most of us would rather do anything than wait. Some of us would rather do the wrong thing than wait. Still, a good part of our life is waiting. Waiting to graduate. Waiting for the right man or woman to come into our life. Waiting for a baby to be born. Waiting to hear if you got the job. Waiting for your prayers to be answered. 

Waiting is one of the hardest parts of the Christian life. Many of us are not very good at it. We often get frustrated waiting at the McDonald’s drive thru or behind a slow car on a two lane road. We need and want to get to the next place or the next thing. This mindset often carries over into our spiritual lives with us rushing to fix something rather than waiting on God.

Ecclesiastes 3 says ”For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” God has a plan and a purpose for everything. The problem is not with God’s plan. The problem is we want to go to a closet, clench our fist and solve the problem by going back in time. The rest of us who can’t go back in time have trouble waiting because we don’t have all the details. From our perspective, we have everything figured out and we want God to move within our timeframe.

But God rarely does things according to our timeframe, and because of this we can easily get discouraged. If we aren’t careful, we’ll think He’s uncaring or mad at us. In the Gospels we see this happening to Mary and Martha while they are waiting on Jesus to come and heal their brother, Lazarus. When Jesus finally shows up, He is accused of taking too long.

Waiting on God means patiently looking to Him for what we need. David learned to “wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.” (Psalms 62:5), and that “people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalms 62:8) 

We don’t like to wait. But sometimes God’s answer to us is simply, “Be patient and wait.” We can pray with David: “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” (Psalms 5:3)  We can trust His response, even if it doesn’t come in the time we expect.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you think that God has reason to be impatient with you? 
  2. What are the main differences in situations when you are and are not patient? Do you think that patience comes naturally, i.e., you have it as a child, or is it something that is learned as you get older and more mature?
  3. Psalm 37:34 [TLB) says,”Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! Keep traveling steadily along his pathway and in due season he will honor you with every blessing, and you will see the wicked destroyed.” What does that mean to our lives today?
  4. What can we do this week to become better at waiting on the Lord?

The Time is Short

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” –  Psalm 39:4-5.

Mary has a great line in the movie About Time. She says, “And so it begins, lots and lots of types of days.”  It doesn’t take too many days before we start to realize that our time on earth is short…and getting shorter each good day, bad day, and ordinary day. It’s sobering to read how often the Bible emphasizes the brevity and fragility of life. King David wrote: “…each of us is but a breath.” With the brevity of life in mind, Moses made this request of God: “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) 

While on the surface, it seems a weird thing to understand that is exactly what we should do. We should all pray as David and Moses did for God’s help to understand the great value of our limited time and how to make the most of each day. How we use our time says a lot about our character and priorities. Most people think they have plenty of time and as a result waste some of it. The Bible equates time management with wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 says, “Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” A big part of wisdom is knowing the value of time and learning to make the most of it. Both the Bible and history offer many examples of great accomplishments by people who used their time well.

Paul emphasized the seriousness of “redeeming the time”—making the most of our time and opportunities. “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” (Ephesians 5:15-16) In Colossians 4:5-6 he similarly wrote: “Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone.”

No matter how young and healthy you are, life is brief. James warns us: “Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15).

We should not be concerned that life is short. Heaven awaits. Everlasting life. No shortage of time. No running out of time. No worries about time at all. Time that goes on and on and on. 

In the meantime, time flies. Make the most of each and every day!

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you react when the Bible says we are but a breath?
  2. Ben Franklin said, “Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” Do you agree? If so, how does our lack of wisdom affect how we use our time?
  3. What does it mean to use our time wisely?
  4. What would you do differently this week if you knew your time was short?

In Times Past

“The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.” —Psalms 9:9-10.    

In this week’s movie, About Time, Tim uses his ability to go back in time to make his present life better. If you could travel through time, where would you go? It opens up a unlimited number of possibilities. Can you imagine going back to the beginning and watching creation? That would be amazing. Or watching Jesus walk on water or witnessing the resurrection. I would also go back to see what Jesus wrote in the dirt in John 8:6. But we can’t go back. We are locked into the present.

That present is both fleeting and controlled by God. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived in the book of Ecclesiastes described time this way.He said, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.” 

God knows all about our time and our seasons of life. He knows all about our experiences. He knows all about reality. He knows that we don’t always “get it right.” Our timing is off at times. We sow when we should reap. We hold grudges when we should forgive. We speak when we should be silent. But God knows. God knows when its time for us to be born and He knows when its time for us to die. God knows when we need to cry and when we need to laugh. God knows when we need to mourn and when we need to dance. God knows when we need to be silent and when we need to speak. God knows everything. He also knows why everything happens. And He has created a heaven, a place untainted by our missed timings and our lost opportunities. C.S. Lewis said, “Our Heavenly Father has provided many delightful inns for us along our journey, but he takes great care to see that we do not mistake any of them for home.” 

I believe God makes life beautiful in His time. Those who live a surrendered life according to God’s time and schedule will ultimately lead a more fulfilling life.

Discussion Questions:

  1. If you could go back in time, what would you change?
  2. Does the fact that time is fleeting impact the way you live?
  3. Do you feel that God’s and your timing is off at times? How do you know? What can you do about it?
  4. What can we do to better walk with God in this season of our life? 

What Time Is It?

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; –  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

In the movie, About Time, the men in Tim’s family share an odd genetic quirk – the ability to travel in time. Skeptical at first blush, Tim is skeptical when his dear old dad finally spills the beans to him. When he finds it is true, Tim sets off to find and win a wife. A task that would seem a little more manageable with the gift of do overs. But that assumption is quickly proven both correct and incorrect, as Tim awkwardly navigates the perils of growing up and trying to become a responsible adult worthy of finding true love and, subsequently, true happiness.

On our life’s journey we’ll face many different situations, experience many different experiences, and meet many different people. Sometimes things go great and we rejoice. But, sometimes things go bad and we are sad. Sometimes our feelings are hurt, and we become isolated. Sometimes we really blow it. Sometimes we get it right, and we smile. The Bible says that God takes these collective experiences and eventually makes something beautiful out of all of the loose ends.

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is an appropriate time for all of life’s experiences and expectations. Everything must come in its appropriate time. If you get it out of sync you are in trouble, especially when you can’t go back in time to fix  the problem. The problem is that we are constantly trying to run this schedule ourselves. But God has already planned the schedule. 

Solomon is telling us that we are not going to escape the hurts and sorrows of life. God chose them for us. The proof is God’s own Son. Jesus was not handed a beautiful life with everything perfect, free from struggle and pain. No, He was,“despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.” {Isaiah 53:3}. There will be times of hurt, of sorrow and weeping.

Unlike Tim, we are trapped in time with all the unfulfilled expectations that the passing of time brings to us. And if this world is all there is, we’re in trouble. But Solomon asserts that God can make things beautiful when appropriate to do so.  While God has not given us every detail of what our tomorrows will be like, He can and will recreate something beautiful out of the brokenness of our lives.

Discussion Questions:

  1. In Ecclesiastes 3, is Solomon describing what is or what one should do?
  2. The point of Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 is that God is sovereign. What does sovereignty mean? How does trusting that God is sovereign impact the way you live and view life?
  3. What would you say to someone who struggles with God because of suffering? How have you seen God bring something good out of something bad?
  4. Pray and ask God to trust His timing in your life this week.