(August 11, 2020) Carol Round challenges us to pursue right things…
One of my favourite contemporary Christian songs is titled Just Give Me Jesus. It reminds me of the saying, often credited to Billy Graham, ‘My home is in heaven. I’m just passing through this world.’
Often called on to ease the nation’s fears during stressful times, Dr Graham’s wisdom provided calm no matter the situation. He reassured us that Earth is just a stopping place, a way station, before our final home.
Hebrews 13:14 puts it this way, ‘For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven.
Is life on earth meaningless?
Many avoid reading this Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes because they feel overwhelmed by the view of life it offers. Like the book of Job, it doesn’t avoid the tough questions of life… but does it offer any answers to life’s meaning? Let’s see…
Chapter one seems to set the tone – and it’s depressing.
- ‘In my opinion, nothing is worthwhile; everything is futile. For what does a man get for all his hard work?’ (Ecclesiastes 1:2TLB)
- ‘There is nothing new under the sun that is capable of giving meaning to life.’ (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
- Then, in Ecclesiastes 4:4 (TLB) the author observes ‘… the basic motive for success is the driving force of envy and jealousy! But this, too, is foolishness, chasing the wind.’
Could it be that we’re chasing the wrong things, meaningless things?
Chasing ‘wrong things’
David Wilkerson once said, ‘Many of those who once were so passionately in love with Christ now run about pursuing their own interests. They’re burdened down with stress and problems, chasing after riches and the things of this world.’
Studying the words penned by the author of Ecclesiastes and reading commentaries, I recall the years I pursued and envied what others had. By pursuing what I thought made me a success, I lost sight of who I was in Christ.
That’s why I understand the writer’s point: Even if we achieve worldly success, death awaits each of us at the end. We can’t take it with us. So, in essence, we’re just running after the wind, a useless endeavour.
Finding meaning in life
Ecclesiastes 7:14 says, ‘When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.’
We know frustration and adversity are unavoidable in this life. Pursing anything else but God cannot bring lasting satisfaction and fulfilment. Charles Spurgeon once said, ‘It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.’
For me, enjoying life means making memories with my family and friends. Being able to look back, laugh at the good times, and reminisce about troubling times, teaches us to enjoy each moment.
- Forgotten are the possessions I no longer have.
- Forgotten are those gathering dust.
- Forgotten are those turning to rust.
- Forgotten are those that are no longer important.
Our worth should not come from ‘things’
I know people who rush to buy the latest technology as soon as it hits the market. For them, it’s a status symbol.
Most of us don’t need the extra bells and whistles costing us more money and time to figure them out. At least, I don’t. My motto is ‘Keep it simple.’
Until I figured out my worth didn’t come from things or winning accolades, I was lost.
- Things and success don’t last.
- When I discovered my identity in Christ, my priorities changed.
- My worth is found in him, and him alone.
Chasing the wind is futile
It leads nowhere!
Part of the lyrics to the song Just Give me Jesus sums up what I’ve discovered….
‘There’s nothing I desire that can’t be found in you.
You’re everything that I’ve ever needed.
Just give me Jesus.’
May we all ever recall Ecclesiastes 4:4 above, ‘Then I observed that the basic motive for success is the driving force of envy and jealousy! But this, too, is foolishness, chasing the wind.’
Carol Round, Special to Assist News Service (www.assistnews.net founded by Dan Wooding), follows her passion of using her writing and speaking abilities to inspire others. Carol especially loves hearing from readers.
Recommended: By Faith Alone. Inside are the musings of a woman who has a heart to know God. Carol Round sees the everyday events of life through the lens of scripture and points out life application for her readers. Each devotional provides inspiration in a thought-provoking, upbeat, down-to-earth, no-nonsense way. Links: A Matter of Faith weekly column: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.carolaround.com. __________________________________________________________________________________