Hope for Today: The Days of Youth


Clay Center, Kansas – There was once an old wise king who wrote and collected various sayings that reflected his observations of life, from youth to old age.  In pondering his younger days, he wrote poetically to the those in his kingdom that were starting out in life, “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.  Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.  Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened. . .”  (Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:2) .

The king was Solomon, the wealthiest, wisest, and most sought-after man of his day.  Other rulers from throughout the world came to ask questions and learn from him.  What was his message to the youth of his kingdom?

Rejoice in your youth. Solomon recognized the season of youth comes only once and should be celebrated to its fullest. Laugh! Enjoy that time of life! Those years are filled with new experiences and opportunities to explore like no other. Learning is at its zenith. The wings of independence get spread and take their first flight. Chances at love are taken that may lead to a partner in marriage and family.

Remove grief from your heart. While enjoying youth to its fullest, sometimes there are days of darkness. There may come tragedy or pain that can overshadow this season. The death of a parent or friend, dad and mom divorce, severe sickness or disease, abuse or depression can all darken this time of life. One’s moral choices can have a great impact on these years as well. Problems with drugs or alcohol. Sexual encounters. Terminating a pregnancy. Bad financial decisions. Whatever it is, the days of darkness can bring grief to the years of one’s youth.

Remember your Creator. It is easy to forget God in the younger years. The sense of adventure, a desire to question, being at the peak of energy and strength, and living for the moment, can all lead there. But God has a way of helping us to remember. Solomon points out three ways God does this. One, Solomon shares that in the time of youth, when one reaches their peak of life in so many ways, they slowly start to decline as the body ages. Aging is God’s way of humbling us. Second, the wise king reveals how death is certain for us all. Some, as they age, will live long before stepping through death’s door. For others, their youth may be cut short, before entering through that same door. Third, Solomon states that following death everyone will give an account before God for their life, a day of reckoning, where all those moral choices in our youth, will have to be answered for.

Knowing all this, how shall we live from the sunrise to the sunset of life? Hear Solomon, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Eccl. 12:13) From the beginning of life, to the end, if we live according to God’s ways there will be no regret. Peace will abound in our hearts and it will be well with our eternal soul. God sent His only Son to die and rise again so that our disobedience might be forgiven. No one can redo the past. All we have is today. If we turn from our ways, then God promises that all things will be made new. Believe this truth. Tomorrow can be different!

A prayer for you – “Creator God, help the young to fully enjoy their youth. Pull back their days of darkness. Help them to remember and live their life, from beginning to end, all for you. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Clint Decker is President of Great Awakenings.  Please share your comment with Clint at cdecker@greatawakenings.org and follow his blog at clintdecker.blogspot.com.