Perhaps one of the most quoted verses in modern day evangelicalism is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” It’s often quoted by those in the pulpits and the pews alike to say – God has a plan for your life; walk in it; it’s a good plan. It may be found in a picture frame in someone’s home or on a professional athlete’s shoes. It might be sent from one person to another via text or shared on Facebook time after time for encouragement. But while the verse is often shared, the context is often left behind, making it probably one of the misinterpreted passages of Scripture.
I am posing this question (the one in the title) to those who have placed their faith in the person and work of Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins; to those who have traded in man-made religion and tradition for the joy that comes from seeing the Gospel of God as sufficient in its salvific efficacy.
I would hope your answer to this question would be a hearty “No! Not at all!” but I know how the mundane-ness of life and the cares and worries of this world conspire with the flesh and the enemy to form, for many, a perception that life is nothing but a blasé carousel ride that leaves human beings jaded.
Better to go to the house of mourning
Than to go to the house of feasting,
For that is the end of all men;
And the living will take it to heart. (Eccl. 7:2)
This proverb comes in a portion of Ecclesiastes that essentially argues, via a series of proverbial statements, that adversity can be more instructive than prosperity. There are times when sorrow is better than laughter (Eccl. 7:3), the rebuke of the wise is better than the song of fools (vs.5), and, as verse two states: it’s better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting (vs.2).