The writer in Ecclesiastes starts off saying that basically everything in this life is meaningless. This is not altogether surprising when we only look at things from an earthly experience and mortal perspective. It is not altogether surprising if we do not understand and focus only on the natural and not the supernatural.
To someone who looks at things through human eyes, wisdom, wealth, life’s pleasures, our human bodies – they are all meaningless. “What do people get from all of their toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest.” – (Ecclesiastes 2:22,23) It is not until the third chapter that we get our first hint of something from the writer that is worthwhile.
“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” – Ecclesiastes 3:12
One of my friends is extremely well off in life by worldly standards. He has accumulated a lot of wealth, had much success in his career, and gets to travel the world. But this friend of mine seems to have the same mental struggle as the writer of Ecclesiastes in searching for the meaning of life. He sees everything here as meaningless, and is convinced that the only thing that matters is his legacy and that he will be remembered and significant in some way.
He also does his best to do fun activities and find happiness while he is here on earth. And while I don’t know if his true motivations for being a doctor is doing good or making money, there must be wonderful opportunities to find satisfaction in saving lives and healing people. His life does seem to align with the verse that says, “A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil.” – (Ecclesiastes 2:24)
The main difference between the writer of Ecclesiastes and this friend of mine who is a doctor is their faith. The writer in Ecclesiastes acknowledges that, “This too, I see, is from the hand of God.” – (Ecclesiastes 2:24). In this this writer acknowledges that God is at the center of it all. He has come to realize that without God, life is meaningless. The reason that my doctor friend struggles to find true joy is because he lacks a relationship with God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. He is always searching, never content, continually empty inside and seeking joy from things in the flesh.
Maybe you know someone who struggles being truly content and happy. Maybe that person is you. Maybe you are living a life that most would love to have, but still missing joy. Maybe life has given you more than you know what to do with. No matter what the situation, you can get your joy back. No matter where you are in life, you can find peace. For the joy of the Lord is our strength. He is our healer, provider, creator of all things. No problem is too big for our God. We only need to turn our hearts to Him and earnestly seek Him, and He will give us exactly what we need.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. Thank you for dealing with something that has been on my heart for some time. As always, you bring to light what hides in the darkness. Thank you for the insight and understanding that you bring. Let the scales fall from our eyes and ears that we can clearly see and hear your Word. Guide our every step, our every word, our every thought. Bring now your Holy Spirit. Let it come alive and overflow in us. We give you all the honor and glory and praise, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: Ecclesiastes 1-3; Psalm 45; Ephesians 2
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.” – Psalms 118:14
“Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10
- “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” – Psalms 18:2
- “”I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” – Jeremiah 32:27
- “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
- “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” – Psalm 55:22
- “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27
- “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” – Deuteronomy 4:29
- “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13
- “Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be.” – 2 Thessalonians 1:2
Image courtesy of: Gwen_Morrison
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