“In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.” (Ecclesiastes 7:14)
Man would forever hold on to the good he has known. He would bottle the best of his days and drink their joy daily; and he would shield himself from all pain and never taste a cup of sorrow. But in this life, everything passes, both the good and the bad. Not so in the next life. There, bliss and torment are eternal.
This life is an appetizer. We get a foretaste of heaven and hell. We experience both pleasure and pain. There are mountains and valleys; a mix of good and bad. One who has had the greater share of good in this life, can end up where there is eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth. Another who has had more than their share of sorrow down here, can enter everlasting joy where no more pain or sorrow or tears are found.
God has ordained that nothing in this life should last – neither pleasure or pain. After the one comes the other. Suddenly, things change – trouble displaces peace; or calm reappears after the storm.
Though we live an hundred years, it is but for a moment compared to eternity. In preparation for that reality, God would have us consider the fleeting nature of our lives in this world. All we have labored for, all we have gained, must be left when we die. “As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?” (Eccl. 5:15,16)
Of all the good and bad this world affords us, we came into this world having none of it, and we will leave without any of it. The only thing that will matter when we take our last breath is whether Christ is in our soul. That alone will determine our eternal experience – one that will never change.
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:11,12)