Gifts without God (Part 4)

This is the final blog in a series of blogs that warn against finding happiness in the temporal things of this world. First, in blog 1 we explored the inadequacy of leisure and liquor. Second, in blog 2 we explored the inadequacy of real estate, assets, assistance, and finances. Third, in blog 3 we explored the inadequacy of entertainment, sensuality, and excess. These are all found in Ecclesiastes 2:1-11. Today, we wrap up the blog by looking at Ecclesiastes 2:11 and some related New Testament passages for us as Christians. We will see the Scripture’s pointing us to the greatest source of satisfaction.

The Dissatisfaction of Pleasures and Possessions (v. 11). The paragraph ends with Solomon’s emotional exclamation that all these activities are vain and unprofitable. He faces the facts of his accomplishments and as he looks deep down inside himself he is still not happy.

This holiday season would be a good time for you to stop and face the facts. Perhaps every year you go through the emotional high of the holidays only to experience the emotions to plateau and decline as the new year comes. These are all indications that your happiness may be based on temporal pleasures, possessions, or circumstances. Solomon has reached this conclusion after having accomplished more than we can imagine.

This is convicting because this means that we don’t have to reach the levels of success of Solomon. He is warning us from the top of the mountains he has conquered. He is warning us that the pathway to happiness is not through pleasures and possessions.

This may leave us wanting and rightfully so. The book of Ecclesiastes continues to encourage us to go to God for satisfaction and meaning, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person” (12:13). Actually, the rest of the Bible has much more to say about our satisfaction.

The Bible and Eternal Satisfaction. The Bible reminds us of several truths regarding our satisfaction and happiness. God did not make us in His image (cf. Gen 1:26-27) in order to be satisfied in earthly things. God created us to find satisfaction in Him. Consider the following important principles that lead us away from temporal happiness, to lasting and everlasting happiness.

Life is Short. The Bible tells us that life is short and the gift of life can be taken from us at any moment (Lk 12:16-21). Life is a vapor that is here one day and gone the next (Jas 4:14). Therefore, we must live with urgency for God and eternity. The days are evil and God expects us to be good stewards of our time (Eph 5:15-16). Prioritize the eternal matters of life. Seek first His kingdom and righteousness (Matt 6:33). This holiday season, make eternal matters your priority.

Earth is Temporary. If you haven’t noticed it yet, this earth is temporary. But it bears repeating at this point. We are warned that earthly satisfactions are not eternal solutions (1 Jn 2:16). The solution to our eternal problem is the eternal God. Do not focus upon the temporal, but turn to the eternal.

God Satisfies through Christ. Most important is finding satisfaction in God. Reconciliation to God through the person and work of the God-man Jesus Christ is the highest treasure anyone can possess. Our greatest problem is our separation from God because of our rebellion (sin) towards him (Rom 6:23). Reconciliation is needed and it only comes through the person and work of Jesus Christ who dies in the place of sinners (Gal 1:1-4). The sinners who trust in Jesus receive His righteousness and now stand reconciled to God because of Christ (Eph 2:1-10)! It is because of this reason that believers can say that God is our satisfaction (Ps 73:25-28). It is through Christ that we have peace (Rom 5:1) and reconciliation (Rom 5:8-11). This holiday season, take time to reconsider your relationship with God. Ask yourself if you’ve been reconciled to God in Christ. If you have not, repent of your sins and trust in Him. You will not be disappointed.

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