No matter how much we have, it never seems to be enough. In Ecclesiastes 8:10 Solomon observed that those who seek wealth obsessively never find the fulfillment it promises them; Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. Wealth, while seemingly the answer to all our problems, never provides the promises we hope for. When we look at the timeline of our lives we spend the majority of our short time on earth working for an income and lifestyle that ultimately falls short of making us happy. Seeking God and His perfect plan for our lives is the only thing that brings fulfillment. Let’s not waste any more of our lives pursuing that which does not make us happy.
As I was reading this morning, I allowed myself to get caught up in a very distracting issue. It annoyed me and instead of walking away, I decided to engage. Two minutes later I read Ecclesiastes 4:6 and was immediately convicted, Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. Reaching for your pound of flesh when things don’t go your way will ultimately result in little to no satisfaction. It is much more fruitful to reach for peace than it is to get the last word. I recently turned 50, but it is apparent I have along way to go before I am truly wise.
So many of us (myself especially) are too quick to give our opinions without completely thinking about the impact our words have on others. Paul warns us in Ephesians 4:29, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. If our words do not impact others in a positive way, we should rethink what we have to say. While there is a time to correct and instruct, we should still take great care in what we say and how we say it.
There are few things in life that are certain. One thing we can count on with certainty is that God is with us always and He always answers us when we call. Sometimes His answer is no or wait, but He never ignores us. Psalm 120:1 says, I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me. Our comfort comes from knowing God is always with us. When we feel the most alone, it is comforting to know God is there.
The anticipation of the Messiah had been present for a long time. The people of God had to look forward to know He was coming and would provide salvation. In Psalm 98:1 it says, Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things; His right right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for Him. When Christ came to earth and died for our sins, He fulfilled the anticipation the world had been waiting for. When we look for peace, love, and grace, we find it in Christ.
The sooner we realize God’s plan is perfect, the faster stop making plans for ourselves without including God. In Psalm 94:11 the author says, The Lord knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile. Our plans should be whatever God’s plan is for us. When we look to glorify the Lord, we walk away from the futility of our attempts at peace and fulfillment which can only come from God.
Real peace can only come from God. When we try to find peace through our own efforts, we may find it, but it is always fleeting. Psalm 85:8 says, I will listen to what God the Lord will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints – but let them not return to folly. When we trust in God and listen to His guidance in our lives, we find true peace, and it is only through that ongoing trust that true peace remains.
The author in today’s reading not only recognized God’s authority, but he also recognized God’s protection and refuge we can only find in Him. Psalm 84:1 says, How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! When we are with God, the rest of the world fades away. We can find peace and feel God’s comforting presence when we focus on Him.
The author in today’s reading in Psalm asks a beautifully rhetorical question in Psalm 77:13 Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? In the time when this Psalm was written, and no less so today, there were and are many things placed in higher regard than our God. But there is nothing greater or more important to our lives than our Almighty God. Take some time to try to find anything more steadfast or true… you won’t find anything. Not our friends, not our family, or organizations; nothing.
The desire for God should be all-consuming to us. There should be nothing we want more than to have a personal relationship with Him and to do His will. In Psalm 73:25 the author Asaph says, Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. The earthly desires we may have is fleeting. There is nothing here for us that can give us ultimate satisfaction. It is when we look to heaven and the things that impact eternity that we find peace and satisfaction.