It’s hard to believe we’ve officially wrapped up the 2020-21 school year! And what a year it has been for all of us. By God’s grace and provision throughout the year, we made it through.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NIV) says: “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” Why would Solomon, considered the wisest man of his time, say this?
When you consider the excitement of a new relationship, a new job, or the beginning of a new school year, as opposed to the end of that relationship, job, or the fatigue that sets in toward the end of a school year, it seems counterintuitive to say that the end is better than the beginning.
But God is not only interested in the outcome; He is interested and involved in the process of our transformation and us conforming to the image of Christ.
But there is a reason that verse is there for us. The answer lies in what God wants to teach us through the beginning, middle, and ending of our lives.
“The end of a matter” refers to the fulfilment or outcome of a situation. But God is not only interested in the outcome; He is interested and involved in the process of our transformation and us conforming to the image of Christ. All that we go through in life is for that purpose. While God is preparing a home in heaven for us, He is simultaneously preparing us here on earth to meet Jesus as His bride. But until we get there, there are lessons God has for us.
Solomon goes on to say, “patience is better than pride.”
Life is hard sometimes. There are years we’d rather forget altogether. Because suffering was a part of Jesus’ earthly life, it will be part of our story too, especially in light of the fallen world we live in.
the good news is that the end of our earthly lives — eternal life in heaven — is most definitely going to be better than our beginning!
However, the good news is that the end of our earthly lives — eternal life in heaven — is most definitely going to be better than our beginning! When we trust Him in the middle of the mess and persevere in spite of the pain, the outcome will be an increase in faith and patience. And that faith will produce a holy hope that strengthens us to journey on the road ahead.
Romans 5:3-5 tells us, “...but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
We see more and more the need for that hope in our lives. This hope doesn’t come from world events, our country’s leaders, or what’s happening in our communities. It comes solely from our faith in God and His plan for our outcome.
The end of the matter will be better than the beginning when we let Him take hold of our hearts and change them.
The end of the matter will be better than the beginning when we let Him take hold of our hearts and change them. May you be comforted by the fact that God is continually refining us for His glory and that our final outcome will be infinitely better than our beginnings.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” -James 1:2-4
Jan Lashbrook is the Early Childhood Program Director at Calvary Christian Academy. She and her husband are “empty-nesters,” having raised three children who are all grown and married. Their youngest attended CCA for 12 years, graduating in 2012.