Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 (NLT)
1 There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to rebuild.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to lose. A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak up.
8 A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do people really get for all their hard work?
10 I have thought about this in connection with the various kinds of work God has given people to do.
11 God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
12 So I concluded that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to enjoy themselves as long as they can.
13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.
14 And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose in this is that people should fear him.
15 Whatever exists today and whatever will exist in the future has already existed in the past. For God calls each event back in its turn.
16 I also noticed that throughout the world there is evil in the courtroom. Yes, even the courts of law are corrupt!
17 I said to myself, “In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.”
18 Then I realized that God allows people to continue in their sinful ways so he can test them. That way, they can see for themselves that they are no better than animals.
19 For humans and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So people have no real advantage over the animals. How meaningless!
20 Both go to the same place—the dust from which they came and to which they must return.
21 For who can prove that the human spirit goes upward and the spirit of animals goes downward into the earth?
22 So I saw that there is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work. That is why they are here! No one will bring them back from death to enjoy life in the future.
Stay blessed. Amen.