Psa. 90:4               Since God is eternal (with no beginning or end – Psa. 90:2), how does He view time?

[Since God is eternal, He is never in a rush/hurry, yet He is always on time in accordance with His own perfect plans, purposes, and promises (e.g., Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; Josh. 21:45; 2 Pet. 3:9; Lk. 1:20).].

 

2 Pet. 3:8-9          Because the Lord is eternal and infinite, His view of time is different than man’s.  How do some people view the Lord’s response toward fulfilling His promised coming?

The Lord may appear to be slow by some people’s timetable, but actually, the Lord is right on schedule by His timetable as well as demonstrating His patience.  Do you think God is slow when it comes to getting answers to your prayers, which He has promised to grant because of a verse in the Bible stating some promise, and why?

 

Gen. 39:19-21; 41:1, 25, 38-46        Though innocent, Joseph was put in jail for more than two years while in the prime of his life.  Does this seem like a waste of time/years that could have been spent more productively by such a good person as Joseph?

Why do you think God allowed or caused this?

 

Gen. 37:11, 26-28; 39:1-2           Though innocent, Joseph was sold into slavery and to a foreign country.  Does this seem like a waste of time and life for someone as good as Joseph was?

But was it (Gen. 45:1, 5, 7-8; 50:18-20), and why?

 

Have you ever wondered why God allowed or caused certain circumstances to occur in your life that were out of your control and that you thought were a hindrance to or waste of your time and productivity?

How do you feel about them now that you’ve seen what God sometimes does or how He uses circumstances and time in our lives?

 

Num. 14:26-34     Caleb, Joshua, and the children of Israel who were 19 years old and younger, though innocent, were all subjected to suffering by wandering in the wilderness for 40 years.  Does this seem like a waste of time, life, and productivity for these innocent people?

Why did God do this to them (Num. 14:33-34; Deut. 8:2-5, 16)?

Do you see how important character traits are to God?

Have you ever suffered because of another person’s sins and thought it was unfair of God that you should suffer because of it?

How do you feel now, and why?

 

Lk. 1:5-7, 13, 18, 20           Even though Zacharias and Elizabeth were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commands and requirements of the Lord, they weren’t able to have any children, yet God was in control of whether people could bear any children (Gen. 30:1-2, 22-23).  Does it seem like a waste of time and life before God finally gave them a child, as they were both old by the time their son was born?

Couldn’t they have done more things with their son if they were younger?

Why do you think God waited so long (Lk. 1:17, 80)?

Does living in the desert for a long time seem like a waste of time and life (Lk. 1:80)?                Why?

 

Is time for preparing yourself to do the Lord’s work a waste of time?                        Why (Eph. 4:11-13)?

Does it also seem like a waste of time that such a righteous man as Zacharias should be without speech for about a year just because he didn’t believe the angel?

Why do you think God had this to happen for such a long period or at all (Lk. 1:64-66)?

Have you been faithful to God, yet He doesn’t seem to answer your prayers, and, in fact, severely disciplined you when you slipped just one time?

Why do you think He did this (Rom. 8:28)?

 

Matt. 3:1, 13; 4:12; 14:3, 10             John the Baptist’s ministry was very short, probably less than a year.  Doesn’t all his life’s preparation for his ministry seem like such a waste of time for such a short period of service?

Why (Lk. 1:17)?

Do you know of any missionaries like Jim Elliott who prepared himself for years to serve God only to get his life cut short in death?

Was all their preparation to serve God a waste of time, and why?

Or people who are trained in our ministry for many years and don’t start their own independent ministry elsewhere, are they wasting their time and lives by remaining in our ministry here, and why?

 

Jn. 9:1-3                Does it seem like a waste of time for a person to be made blind from birth to adulthood just so Jesus could heal him and thereby display the works of God?

Couldn’t this man have been more productive to society, his family, and even to God if he could have had sight from birth (Isa. 55:8-9)?

(Maybe Jn. 9:11, 16, 22, 38 can shed some light.)

Do you have some handicap that makes you feel less useable and/or less productive for God, yourself, your family, friends, or society?

Does it cause you to question God’s wisdom or to wonder if God knows what He is doing, and why?

 

Lk. 2:41-50          Does it seem like a waste of time for Joseph and Mary to have to go searching for Jesus for three days when that could have been avoided if Jesus had told His parents what His plans were or what He wanted to do?

Why do you think God and/or Jesus allowed or caused this to happen?

Do you ever wonder why God allows or causes you to use up valuable time to find something that you thought He’d put right in front of you right away?

Could God be using the situation to teach you patience or something else that you wouldn’t learn any other way (Rom. 5:3-4)?

How do you now feel about what God allows or causes to happen with your time, and why?

 

Lk. 3:23                Does it seem like a waste of time for Jesus to have waited until He was about 30 years old before He started His ministry?

And doesn’t it seem like a waste of life that Jesus should die so young (about 33 years old), or that His ministry should only last for about 3 years (Jn. 2:13; 6:4; 11:55, three Passovers)?

Couldn’t He have healed more people, taught more people, trained more disciples?

But did He accomplish what He came to do (Jn. 17:4; 19:30)?

If you are preparing yourself to better or more excellently serve God by being trained/discipled and develop your character (Eph. 4:11-13), then you’re not wasting your time or life.  Is quality important to God (1 Thes. 4:1, 10; 2 Pet. 1:5-8)?

Why (Heb. 1:4; 8:6; Ex. 15:7; 2 Pet. 1:3)?

 

Matt. 4:1                Jesus was led up by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness for 40 days to be tempted by the devil. Does this seem like a 40-day waste of time?

Why (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 10:11)?

 

Lk. 10:38-42        Was Mary wasting her time by sitting around listening to Jesus when she could have been helping her sister serve others, and why?

Do you think that sitting and reading your Bible, God/Jesus’ words, is a waste of time because you could be out working or helping other people out?

Why (Eccles. 3:1)?

 

Acts 16:23; 24:27; 28:16, 30           Was Paul’s time in prison or under house arrest a waste of time, and why (Acts 16:27-33; 24:10, 24; 26:1, 28; 28:31)?

Even if Paul didn’t get to preach the gospel to anyone, would his time in prison have been wasted, and why (Rom. 5:3-5; 8:28-29)?

 

Is this how you view time spent in trying circumstances, as a valuable character-building opportunity, and why?

 

Acts 8:26-39        Was it a waste of time for Philip to be witnessing to just one person on a desert road when he could have been witnessing to lots of people in a big city, and why (Acts 8:26)?

If the Lord ever tells or leads you to do something or go somewhere, is it ever a waste of time, and why?

 

Mk. 1:35-37         Was Jesus wasting His time by praying and then going to a new town when He could have been preaching or ministering to an eager group of people who were looking for Him, and why (Mk. 1:38)?

Was Jesus wasting His time by leaving an eager group of people to go off alone to pray (Mk. 6:33, 44-46)?

Do you think that time spent in prayer is a waste of time when there are lots of people who need to hear the gospel or be counseled or fed or taught the Bible?

Why (Eccles. 3:1)?

 

1 Ki. 17:1-5; 18:1                Do you think it was a waste of time for Elijah to hide himself from king Ahab for over 2 years when he could have just trusted God to protect him, and why (1 Ki. 17:2-3)?

If God told you to hide for years from someone who was after your life, would you see it as a waste of time and wonder why God doesn’t just eliminate your enemy so that you could be using your time and life more productively in the Lord’s work, and why?

 

Isa. 20:1-5             Does it seem like a waste of time for the prophet Isaiah to have to go naked (i.e., in his underwear) and barefoot just to be a sign and token against Egypt and Cush, and why?

But was it a waste of time from God’s viewpoint, and why (Isa. 20:5; Heb. 11:6)?

 

Do you think that some of the things God asks you in the Bible to do are a waste of time, like giving your life to evangelism (Matt. 28:19-20) and building up believers into Christlikeness (Eph. 4:11-13; Rom. 14:19; 1 Thes. 5:11), and why?

 

Ezek. 4:1-8           Does it seem like a waste of time and productivity for the prophet Ezekiel to be lying on his left side for 390 days and then on his right side for 40 days just to be a sign to Israel and Judah of bearing their sins for the number of days that they had sinned against God in numbers of years, and why?

But did God see it as a waste of time, and why?

When God has you doing something you wouldn’t ordinarily choose to do on your own, do you see it as a waste of time or as accomplishing some aspect of His perfect will, and why (Isa. 55:8-9)?

 

Jer. 7:25-28         Was it a waste of time for the prophet Jeremiah to preach God’s word to the nation of Israel when God already told him that the people would not listen to him, and why?

Even if most or all of the people you witness to don’t respond to the gospel, are you wasting your time evangelizing, and why (Matt. 28:19-20)?

 

And even if most or all of the Christians you follow-up don’t respond to your challenge to be trained by you, are you wasting your time, and why (1 Thes. 5:11; Eph. 4:11-13)?

 

Psa. 90:8-12         Because God gets angry at our sins, what does the Psalmist Moses ask God to teach him and the people of Israel, Psalms 90:12?

 

Why does Moses want God to cause him/them to realize the shortness of life?

Is your realization of life’s brevity causing/motivating you to live wisely (obedient to God and the Bible)?

 

Eph. 5:15-17         What are we to do because the days are evil (our society/world is morally corrupt)?

Are you wise by making the most of your time/opportunities to do God’s will (live a godly life, evangelize, and build up believers), and why?

 

Let us know what you think.