Today news is breaking of Warren Wiersbe’s passing. He went home to be with the Lord yesterday, two weeks shy of his ninetieth birthday.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (May 16, 1929–May 2, 2019) was a beloved Bible teacher and author of over 150 books. Often called “the pastor’s pastor,” he ministered for many years and in several countries, and for a time pastored the historic Moody Church in Chicago.
Wiersbe’s grandson wrote a heartwarming post about his life and legacy, and from it, I got the impression that Wiersbe lived his life with great energy before the Lord. Expecting that Wiersbe has valuable insights on living in the fear of the Lord, I turned to his commentaries on Ecclesiastes from his popular BE series. Indeed he does.
Enjoy these words from the late Warren Wiersbe on the great adventure of life under the sun but in the Spirit.
When I was a boy, I practically lived in the public library during the summer months. I loved books, the building was cool, and the librarians gave me the run of the place since I was one of their best customers. One summer I read nothing but true adventure stories written by real heroes like Frank Buck and Martin Johnson. These men knew the African jungles better than I knew my hometown! I was fascinated by I Married Adventure, the autobiography of Martin Johnson’s wife Osa. When Clyde Beatty brought his circus to town, I was in the front row watching him “tame” the lions.
Since those boyhood days, life has become a lot calmer for me, but I trust I haven’t lost that sense of adventure.
In fact, as I get older, I’m asking God to keep me from getting set in my ways in a life that is routine, boring, and predictable. “I don’t want my life to end in a swamp,” said British expositor F.B. Meyer. I agree with him. When I trusted Jesus Christ as my Saviour, “I married adventure”; and that meant living by faith and expecting the unexpected.
Solomon used two activities to illustrate his point [in Eccl. 11:1–6]: the merchant sending out his ships (vv. 1–2) and the farmer sowing his seed (vv. 3–6). In both activities, a great deal of faith is required, because neither the merchant nor the farmer can control the circumstances. The ships might hit a reef, meet a storm, or be attacked by pirates and the cargo lost. Bad weather, blight, or insects might destroy the crop, and the farmer’s labor would be in vain. However, if the merchant and the farmer waited until the circumstances were ideal, they would never get anything done! Life has a certain amount of risk to it, and that’s where faith comes in.[…]
Just as nobody knows “the way of the wind” (v. 5, NKJV, and see John 3:8) or how the fetus is formed in the womb (Ps. 139:14–15), so nobody knows the works of God in His creation. God has a time and a purpose for everything (3:1–11), and we must live by faith in His Word. Therefore, use each day wisely (v. 6).
Get up early and sow your seed, and work hard until evening. Do the job at hand and “redeem the time” (Eph. 5:15–17), trusting God to bless at least some of the tasks you have accomplished. Just as the merchant sends out more than one ship, so the farmer works more than one crop.
Life is an adventure of faith, and each of us is like a merchant, investing today in that which will pay dividends tomorrow. We are like the farmer, sowing various kinds of seeds in different soils, trusting God for the harvest (Gal. 6:8–9; Ps. 126:5–6; Hos. 10:12). If we worried about the wind toppling a tree over on us, or the clouds drenching us with rain, we would never accomplish anything. “Of course, there is no formula for success,” said famous concert pianist Arthur Rubinstein, “except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.”1
We join others in praising and thanking God for Warren. Read some of Warren Wiersbe’s best quotes as you reflect on his life and ministry.