He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
This can be a difficult passage to understand, but there is powerful truth in the meaning of Ecclesiastes 3:11. This verse points us to God’s perfect timing and challenges us to view our seasons of life differently.
It’s easy in the business of life to forget that God is working things out in ways we cannot understand. And this verse is a reminder that I think we all need.
The Context Of Ecclesiastes 3:11
The book of Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon and is a book of poetry that offers wisdom to teach the reader. Much of the focus of this book is on helping readers develop a God-centered worldview.
Ecclesiastes doesn’t talk much about what God has done for us or how to live out our faith. Instead, it talks about the limits of human reasoning and points people to God. Solomon points out how a life of self-indulgence ends up leaving us empty. It’s only when we remember our creator that we can find a life of significance.
In Ecclesiastes 3 the author is reflecting on how there is a time for everything. Each season of life brings something different, and the challenge for humans is to take their life day by day and trust God. We should realize that God has put things together in a specific way, and our job is to follow God’s timing.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 speaks to the result of what happens when we do this. Let’s take a closer look at the Ecclesiastes 3:11 meaning and see what we can learn.
The Meaning Of Ecclesiastes 3:11
To help you better understand the meaning of Ecclesiastes 3:11 I’ve broken this verse down into three sections.
He Has Made Everything Beautiful In Its Time
The theme of this section is all about God’s timing. And what Solomon is saying is that God will make all things beautiful, or appropriate, in its time. That means that God is in control, and he will make all things right again. In God’s time, the world will experience healing, peace, deliverance, and renewed purpose.
From our perspective, God’s time doesn’t always seem “beautiful.” It can be hard to see how things that are going so wrong can be redeemed. But we cannot see what God sees, and the promise of the Bible is that one day things will be made right. One day we shall see what God has been doing. And our role until then is to trust in him.
He Has Also Set Eternity In The Human Heart
Solomon is saying that God has placed in every person’s heart a sense or desire for something eternal. This desire is what sets us apart from other creatures on this earth. We long for something more than what we can see here and now. This is what causes people to search their whole lives for purpose and meaning.
God has put this desire on our hearts to seek out something eternal. This desire should lead us to him and cause us to place our trust in him.
Yet No One Can Fathom What God Has Done From Beginning To End
Ecclesiastes 3:11 summarizes the author’s whole argument in this section. There is a time for everything. But when we place our hope in these seasons we will never be fully satisfied. What these seasons do is give us a glimpse of what God has done. They point us to the hope that we can have in him.
Solomon tells us we cannot understand on this side of heaven what God has done and what God will do. Therefore our job is to trust him in our current season and look toward our total fulfillment in eternity.
How Ecclesiastes 3:11 Applies To Your Life Today
The meaning of Ecclesiastes 3:11 points us to God’s infinite ability to see all things in the past and all things in the future. Not only can he see it, but he is in control and will make all things beautiful at the appropriate time.
I want to end by giving you two ways you can apply this verse to your life.
1. Trust God in Your Current Season
Each season of life brings joys and challenges. Some seasons we love and others we cannot wait to get out of. As we walk through these seasons it can be easy to lose sight of God. In the good times, we can forget about God. In the difficult times, we ask why. What we ought to do is trust him regardless.
What we need to remember is that God sees what we cannot. The season we are in will not last forever, and he will lead us through. He has put eternity in our hearts, and these seasons, good or bad, should lead us to place our trust in him.
2. Keep Your Eyes Forward
Ecclesiastes 3:11 reminds us that what God has for us is greater than where we are right now. The things of this world should point us to him rather than being our sole focus.
For followers of Jesus, we must keep our eyes on God. The things in this life should be little reminders of what God has done and should cause us to keep focusing on him.
So, don’t get distracted by what is temporary. Rather let what is temporary remind you of what is eternal.
Looking for a great resource to help you grow in your faith and keep your eyes on God? I HIGHLY recommend Mark Moore’s books Core 52 and Quest 52. These simple 15-minute daily readings will help you connect with God and understand the Bible better. They are INCREDIBLE. Plus there are kids/teen versions as well!