Ecc.7:3 “Lessons From Hard Times”


Ecclesiastes 7:3 “Frustration is better than laughter because a sad face is good for the heart.”


Many who read this verse may be puzzled by its logic. This is because the common thinking is that we should all seek happiness that is often associated with laughter. Nobody would seek sadness. Yet, God tells us through the writer of Ecclesiastes that frustration is better than laughter and that sadness is actually good for us. Why is this the case?

The reason is because it is through hard times, periods of difficulty and hardship that we learn many important lessons in life. It is in hard times that we discover who our true and lasting friends are, they are the ones that will stand by us. They are the ones who are ready to help us with whatever they can spare to give. It is in hard times that we learn the value of simple things like our health, our ability to live simply and be satisfied with it, to enjoy simple homecooked food and so on. On the other hand, the more successful and richer we become, we find we have less time to appreciate the simpler things in life. We have less time for our true friends. We eat richer food that is actually worse for our health and instead of walking more, we can afford to ride in cars. This means less exercise for us.

The Covid-19 pandemic brings hard times for many people. But it is not all bad news because just as the writer of Ecclesiastes 7:1-6 reminds us that hard times do teach us a great deal. People suddenly value the ability to breathe normally without the need for hospital ventilators. We had begun to take the fresh air we breathe for granted. People enjoy more homecooked meals and more families eat together because they cannot go out. People realize that money cannot buy us good health. People realize that life cannot be taken for granted as anyone can catch the virus and some may die from it. It has also made people question and wonder where they will go after they die, to heaven or to hell. And if they want to go to heaven, how can they do so. In good times, people do not usually think about these things. They are too busy being distracted by worldly matters. It is in hard times that they are forced to consider the things in life that really matters. In hard times when money is in short supply, we are forced to only buy what is necessary and to keep things simple. Isn’t that true?

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for teaching us many valuable lessons in life. Please help us to learn lessons you want to teach us through hard times. Help us to continue to trust in you in all circumstances. In the great name of the Lord Jesus we humbly ask. Amen.



  1. How has your views about hard times changed as a result of this devotion? Discuss.
  2. Share some lessons you learnt in the past from a challenging or tough time?
  3. What have you learnt as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic?
  4. What difficulties are you facing and what might you learn from it this week?