I am reading through the book of Proverbs and remembering long ago days of “Wise and Righteous, Foolish and Wicked” notebook entries for junior high Bible class. It was a great way for the teacher to force us to study Proverbs and maybe even learn something from it! I spent a summer several years ago doing another notebook study along those lines, and I enjoyed it immensely. This time through Proverbs, however, I feel like I should be studying Ecclesiastes instead, another book written by Solomon.
“Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.” ~ Ecclesiastes 2:11
My soul is discouraged and weary, and my heart is longing for things to be “right” with the world. It seems that Solomon, the wisest of all the men who have ever lived, this man who enjoyed extreme wealth and peace and achieved our world’s definition of happiness, came to realize that apart from God, everything is vanity.
Some days are just plain difficult. And some times in life are filled with feelings of hopelessness and defeat, darkness and doubt. But remember that everything good in life ~ in fact, life itself ~ is a gift from God.
“There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen, that it is from the hand of God. For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?…I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor–it is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.” ~ Ecclesiastes 2:24-25, 3:12-14
Who can have enjoyment without Him? Apart from God, life lacks meaning and joy. He has given us the task at hand, whatever is before us to do ~
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” ~ Colossians 3:17. With a thankful heart and in the name of Jesus, rejoice and do good in your lifetime.
I must set aside the burdens and hurts of this world and put my eyes back on Jesus ~
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” ~ Hebrews 12:1-2
I will choose to study and to seek wisdom from God as I continue on in my daily journey on this earth. And I will ask Jesus to perfect my faith ~ “I do believe, help my unbelief”! (Mark 9:24)
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls.” ~ Proverbs 11:30
Oh dear God, help us to be a tree of life to those around us, and may the lost be found by You! For this is what we should be seeking after, what our lives should be all about ~ Your kingdom, eternal treasure, hearts changed and lives redeemed for eternity!