In Ecclesiastes 7:8, we have an insightful statement from King David’s beloved son, Solomon, the man of wisdom: “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Better is the end or the outcome of all the “things” we go through in our Christian life. Often when we look at what is taking place in our lives, and maybe to us it doesn’t have a very good beginning, it’s so easy to pass judgment on it from the start and say, “This is a waste of my time. This will never amount to anything. I don’t know why I’m doing this!”
What does the Scripture say? God’s Word defines what our outlook should be toward all that God has called us to experience by His grace. Ecclesiastes 3:11b says, “…no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” We are very limited in our understanding of what God is doing in our lives. We are not able to know how something will end by the way it started. We are not able to know how something will end by the way it started. Click To Tweet
We can rest assured, however, that there is One who knows the end, who knows the final outcome. God knows. He is the One who declares the end from the beginning in Isaiah 46:10 and 48:3, 5. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending in Revelation 1:8 and 22:13. Are we willing to defer all judgment to Him and let Him have the final word?
Perhaps you are bothered by how small things start out for you. The Holy Spirit through the prophet Zechariah gives us much needed counsel in Zechariah 4:10. We are not to despise the day of small beginnings. It really reads, “the small.” We are not to despise “the small” in our lives. What is the small in your service to the Lord? The small outreach team, the small response from the lost in evangelism, the small Bible study, the small contribution in preparing a meal for the sick, the small tithes/ offerings, the small investment in your family, the small response from your teen-age child, the small or limited opportunities you have to be around the Body of Christ because you’re busy in God’s calling for you as a wife or mother. The Spirit is saying, “Don’t hold the small things in contempt. Don’t consider them as insignificant in your life.” You need not carry a lack of respect in your heart toward the small. The small is never insignificant if God is in it.
The end is better for God’s people because the Lord is very much interested in the process. God’s thinking is never that the end justifies the means, but rather, as Oswald Chambers points out, “The end explains.” If you are living a life of faith, if you are trusting in Christ in daily living, if you are living in intimacy with Him and beholding him in the mirror of his Word, the end will explain how you lived your life.
The Lord is saying to us, in the b part of Ecclesiastes 7:8, that we are in need of patience in the process. We see this same principle in Romans 5:3 that tribulation is to work patience into our lives. It’s no less than the fructifying work of the Spirit in our lives in Galatians 5:22 that God is interested in. Hebrews 10:35-36 admonishes us not to cast away our confidence, but to plug patience into the equation as we wait to receive the fulfillment of God’s promises towards us. We can never measure the value of getting to know the character and nature of God in our service and in our affliction.
For whom is the end better than the beginning? Isaiah 3:10 says, “… it shall be well with the righteous.” Those who have imputed righteousness, who have believed in Christ by faith, the end of their earthly sojourn will be better, as heaven awaits all those who put their trust in Christ. But what can we conclude about time? For whom is the end better than the beginning in our journey through life? Is it not for those who have imparted righteousness, who are rightly related to grace, who are walking with the Lord, trusting in Him and not leaning on their own understanding? (Proverbs 3:5-7). Those who have imparted righteousness can confidently declare that the end of the matter, the outcome of their trial, the outcome of living by faith will be better!
Consider Job’s life. Job 8:7 says, “Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.” How true this was for God’s servant, Job, for we see in Job 42:1-2 the double portion that Job received at the end of his trial. How true this was for Ruth, as Love lifted her out of an incestuous line into the royal line of King David from which Christ came. How true this was for Esther, who was prepared by the Holy Spirit in a place of obscurity for her moment in history. How true this was for the woman with the issue of blood, as Jesus gifted her with a divine healing and her faith in Christ opened a new door for her into His peace. How true this will be for you and me, the King’s daughters who are all glorious within!
Live with divine patience in the process and God may even give you insight into how the end of your situation is better. Are you concerned over your failures? Through confession and rebound (1 John 1:9) and receiving God’s grace, you will get to know the God of all Grace toward you and the end will be better. The end of chastisement is better when it results in peaceable fruits of righteousness (Hebrews 12:11). The end of suffering is better as those who suffer with him will reign with him in 2 Timothy 2:11-13. Through the mind of Christ, we can form correct judgments regarding all of life experiences, and his loving kindness toward us will be better than all we experience. (Psalm 63:3). Hear counsel and receive instruction [on this matter], and you will be wise in the latter end (Proverbs 19:20).