“Why Were The Old Days Better Than These?”

“Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.” Ecclesiastes 7:10

  • “Don’t long for “the good old days.”
  • Don’t ask, “Why were things better in the old days than they are now?”
  • Do not ask, “Where have all the good times gone?”
  • Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.

images (3) OLD LADY

The Dictionary defines the word nostalgia as follows:

  • “A feeling of pleasure and also slight sadness when you think about things that happened in the past”
  • “A wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life.”
  • “A sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time.”
  • “A yearning for the return of past circumstances, events in ones life”

As I look at this passage of Scripture, I hear the soul of a man of God reflecting upon the past and pondering the memories of things that happened,surmising that although it’s okay to look, it’s not okay to stay, or try and relive those times past.

There is a certain nostalgia for all of us when we remember the “Good Old Day’s”.  And you know what?  Maybe they were times where everything appeared like ‘life was good’ and those days couldn’t ‘get any better’.

And so, we take pictures of the past, and frame them, and put them on display, to bring a warmth and comfort of ‘Days of Old’.

In a good sense, they can be encouraging and a blessing as we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations.   But, they can also become a hindrance, because we begin to measure our lives in the present, based upon memories of the past.

When we look at the big picture, we have a Big God, and He has a big plan for your life; full of new and exciting things for you to experience as you walk in fellowship with Him.

One of my favorite reminder Scriptures of Things Past and Things in the Future is in Isaiah 43:18-19:

  • Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.   Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

“Former things”  can get in the way of present things.  Our God say’s, ‘Marty, behold, look, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth”   New things can’t happen when we are focused on old things.

When we do choose to remember the “Good Times”, we should glory in the work God did in our lives long ago.  It is good to remember what great things God has done in our past, but we need to keep in mind that God is also the God Of The Present. To only think of past glories is Missing Out on the Great things God is doing in your life Right Now!

  • “Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”

Man, I must confess to you, that in this Down Timefor me, as I go through these chemotherapy treatments, I have asked this question to myself.  I can think of so many ‘Good Old Day’s‘ memories where I was the one doing the ministering  to others who needed to be ministered to.

I can categorically say that for me, right now these months are not something that I see myself later looking back with fondness.   And yet, God who has already determined my steps to the future, already knows the Good Old Days that are coming out of this present not so good days.

There is a danger in dwelling on the ‘Good Old Days’ ; when we begin to live our present lives in the past.  Everyone of us has a past.  The past is the part of what makes our present.  Dwelling in that past can be harmful  because the Present, what you are now experiencing  will  shape your future.   The Apostle Paul writes:

  • Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead (Philippians 3:13)

Paul’s Past Experiences were not so good.  He was the Number One Prosecutor of The Early Church and he admits that he made the lives of Christian’s miserable, and full of sufferings.

He considered himself as a sinful man, but rather than dwelling on the past, and letting it consume and destroy Him, Paul looked ahead where Jesus called him to be an Apostle, and guess what, everything changed.

Paul forgot what was in the past, and reached out to the future God had prepared for him. He never let his past affect his present life.

When we are experiencing difficult times, we are more inclined to view the “former days” as having been much better.  That in itself is not a problem. Looking back nostalgically to the past, but we must remember that it won’t change or help us in dealing with those difficulties in the present.   People who dwell on the past can actually make the present more difficult for themselves.

 It is unrealistic for one to look back longingly to “former days” while brooding about the difficulties of the present.   The only thing we get by spending our time looking in the rear view mirror is a big disaster in our front windshield!

Bottom line?  Our best days as Christians are always ahead.    After all, has not Jesus  promised to return and take us home to God — what better future could there be?

So let’s not get distracted with nostalgic cynicism. We can thank God for His past blessings, but let’s not waste the present with pessimism. Let’s make a commitment to redeem our time and trust that the same God who raised Jesus from the dead also holds our future in his hands.

If we live our lives at the present according to what God desires on us, then we are making a better future for us.

“Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.” Ecclesiastes 7:10

 

Maybe today you find yourself pondering these words in your own life. Ask God to help you to increase your faith, trusting Him about your future.  We know that everything He does is good, and He awaits all of us in that future, and that future is with Jesus Christ who is the ‘Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End’ .  He has gone to “prepare a place for us”.   Give Him your past, and living in the past glories, and embrace the future!

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“Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.” Ecclesiastes 7:10

 

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2 Responses to “Why Were The Old Days Better Than These?”

  1. Patty says:

    Awesome Marty! We were just talking about things past the other day… what a great reminder to keep our eyes focused on Jesus… Our Future!

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