Ecclesiastes 3:11 (ESV)

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

This text is explained in various ways. In the GNT we read, He has given us a desire to know the future. Many other translations have what is stated more literally here: He has put eternity into man’s heart. We can only discover the correct meaning of these words when we pay attention to the context in which they were written.

The Lord has made man in such a way that he does not have to let himself be carried away by time. Man does not have to be a slave to time. The fact that the Lord has placed eternity in the heart of man means that he has a sense of time. This makes him think about the passage of time. He searches for the meaning of all kinds of events that take place in time. He looks for connections, for a unified whole. People have thought about this. Lengthy books have been written about this subject. People keep searching because they do not know God's comprehensive plan. Those who live without Christ continue to search and never truly find rest.

The church father Augustine, who lived in the fourth century AD, is an example of this. For a period in his life, he searched, without God, for the purpose and meaning of his life. In spite of all his searching and his great learning, he could not find peace. When he came to know Christ as his Saviour and supreme Teacher, real peace came into his life. Augustine writes, Our heart is restless within us until it rests in you.

Often you are unable to understand why certain things are happening in your life. Solomon then says that man cannot fathom the work that God has done from the beginning to the end. The child of God finds peace in this because he knows that the plan is good, also for him or her, no matter how many questions there are. You will then find peace in what we read in Romans 8:28: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

The unity that God has placed in his work and the wonderful future that exists for God's children can only be known through faith (see 1 Corinthians 2:9–16).

The Lord is the Creator and Redeemer. He made creation beautiful and good (see Genesis 1:31). He continues to reign and guides creation and his children through everything. He ensures that every time is good, despite the misery we as humans have brought into creation. He leads creation to the goal of the new heaven and earth (see Revelation 21:22).