While the Bible offers some sage advice similar to “This too shall pass,” the phrase cannot be found in scripture. However, many people associate the phrase with a scripture in Ecclesiastes as a summary of the writer’s thoughts. Let’s take a deeper look at the phrase and see how it stands up to the Bible and if its words should change your life and affect how you view God.
Is “This Too Shall Pass” in the Bible?
“This too shall pass” is not a direct quote from the Bible, but it is a phrase that is often associated with the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, the author reflects on the cycle of life. The verses say:
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
While the scripture above does not allude to “this too shall pass,” it does show how time passes. Furthermore, the expression has all the earmarks of a Proverb or Bible phrase. Friends, family, and church members often quote the phrase to each other as a well-meaning platitude, especially during a difficult time. However, the closest the Bible comes to saying this phrase is in Galatians 6:9, which says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Other verses come up with a similar summary as well, such as James 4:14, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Essentially the goal of the verse is, to sum up grander words to a level everyone can understand and take in as comfort.
Origin of “This Too Shall Pass.”
The origin of the phrase “This too shall pass” does not have a clear past, as it has been used by various cultures and writers throughout history. The phrase has been attributed to Persian, Jewish, and Sufi wisdom, among others. Regardless of its origin, the phrase “This too shall pass” has become a popular mantra to remind people that both good times and bad times are temporary and that life is constantly changing.
“This Too Shall Pass” Meaning
The phrase “This too shall pass” serves as a reminder that all things, both good and bad, are temporary and will eventually come to an end. When people go through times of sorrow and trouble, they need to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, offering them an escape from their pain and suffering. While only four small words, they carry the ability to remove weight from people’s shoulders with the promise of a comforting end.
When facing challenging situations, the phrase can be a source of comfort and hope, reminding us that we will get through difficult times and that better times are ahead. It can also be a reminder to appreciate and cherish the good times, as they, too, are fleeting. In essence, “This too shall pass” encourages us to be present in the moment, accepting and embracing whatever comes our way and knowing that it will eventually pass.
Is There Biblical Truth to the Phrase?
Yes, the Bible indicates the sentiment makes sense, as both nature and life acknowledge the transient nature of life and the inevitability of change. While we have discussed Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, other verses indicate the nature of life, such as 2 Timothy 2:3 and Hebrews 12:7. Both verses suggest endurance and discipline will help us through times of trouble. Further, 2 Corinthians 4:17 states, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”
Similarly, in Psalm 30:5, the psalmist writes, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” This passage suggests that even though difficult times may come, they will eventually pass and be replaced by more positive experiences.
In essence, the Bible acknowledges that life is full of both good and bad times and that all things are temporary and subject to change. The phrase “This too shall pass” can serve as a reminder of this biblical truth, encouraging us to have faith in the midst of difficult times and to cherish and appreciate the good times while they last.
Is “This Too Shall Pass” the Same as “It Shall Come to Pass” in the Bible?
The phrases “This too shall pass” and “it shall come to pass” are similar in that they both convey the idea that difficult circumstances or situations are temporary and will eventually end. However, they are not exactly the same, and they come from different sources.
The phrase “it shall come to pass” shows up throughout the Bible, such as Deuteronomy 28:1-14, Isaiah 65:24, and Acts 2:17. Often, this expression indicates that something is going to happen in the future. The wording, of course, changes with different translations. However, it almost always means the same thing, something will happen in the future.
On the other hand, the phrase “This too shall pass” is not found in the Bible, although, as mentioned earlier, there are verses that convey a similar message of the transient nature of life and the inevitability of change. The phrase “This too shall pass” is a proverbial expression that has been used in many cultures and languages for centuries to encourage people to persevere through difficult times.
So while these two phrases share a similar sentiment, they are not the same thing and come from different sources. When the Bible says, “It shall come to pass, it conveys a fulfillment of God’s promises and prophecies. It indicates that what has been spoken or foretold will inevitably happen in the future according to God’s plan and timing.
Essentially, the phrase signifies the assurance that God’s word is trustworthy and reliable. It reminds believers that God’s promises are not empty or fleeting but will be fulfilled. Furthermore, it reflects the faithfulness of God to accomplish His plans and bring about the events He has declared. When we see these words in the Bible, we are seeing promises kept in the Word.
God is With Us in Our Suffering
Yes, God is with us in our suffering and can provide comfort and strength during difficult times. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” This verse suggests that God is near to those who are suffering and can provide help and support when they need it most.
Similarly, in Isaiah 43:2, it says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” This verse provides assurance that even in the most challenging situations, God is present and can protect and guide us.
In conclusion, the phrase “This too shall pass” is not found in the Bible. However, the Bible does contain verses and teachings that convey a similar message about the transient nature of life and the inevitability of change. With these passages, people can find comfort and hope when going through difficult times by remembering them that their suffering is not permanent and that they can find strength and support in God. Ultimately, while “This too shall pass” may not be a direct quote from the Bible, its sentiment aligns with many of the themes and teachings found in the scripture.