Hebrews 12:2 encourages us to fix “our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (NIV). Ecclesiastes 9:11, declares, “The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all” (NIV).

The “chance” Solomon speaks of here in Ecclesiastes isn’t happenstance but rather an observation that things do not always appear as they seem; the fastest person doesn’t always win the race, the strongest people win the battle, etc. Let’s consider this Proverb.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

While this verse refers to the plans and desires people make, we can say that whatever those plans might be, God’s purpose prevails. This is what we see in Ecclesiastes 9:11. We see the same in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, where Solomon writes about a time for all things. God’s time.

If we consider Hebrews 12:2 and the notion that we should keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, along with Ecclesiastes 9:11, where things don’t happen as we think they ought. We can deduce that taking our eyes off of Jesus is taking our focus away from the one who determines how things work out.

Let’s consider this verse from Ecclesiastes 7.

Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.

Ecclesiastes 7:10 (NIV)

We’re all familiar with expressions about the “good old days.” We loving look with longing backward at other times in our lives and perhaps wish for our current days to be more like those. Conversely, we may look to the future and hope for better days.

When we look at the past, we’re not looking at the present. Similarly, if we’re looking to the future, we may not be looking to the present. The only time we have is right now. The only time we can truly keep our eyes fixed on Jesus is right now. We’ve already lived in the past, and the future (living) isn’t a guarantee.

When we consider trials and tribulations, the ones that seem the greatest are the ones we’re going through right now. While it’s healthy (in faith) to look back and see where God has brought us from to encourage ourselves today, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be fooled into thinking that those past trials were easier. This is why I think we look to the past and to those “good old days.” Instead of remembering the difficulties we once had, we focus on the victories.

This is why I recommend keeping something like a prayer and praise journal. Even better is reading your Bible every day and writing about what God says to you. Since the word of God is living and active, the Holy Spirit will speak to us through the word as we read it. When we record how we feel and what is happening in our lives: It makes it easier to accurately remember how we felt instead of remembering through rose-colored lenses, as is our tendency.

If you’re not into journaling, you might consider using something like the YouVersion application that allows digital highlights, notes, and the like with time and date stamps. I have over 10 years’ worth of such in my account, and it’s great to be reading through the Bible and see a note from 10 years ago about something I had forgotten.

I pray this day finds you well, and I thank you for stopping by!

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be free from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.