“For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?”

Reflections on Ecclesiastes 2:25 —

This quote may seem a little presumptuous.  To an atheist, it’s a little offensive.  To a self-sufficient, materialistic society, it’s irrelevant gibberish.

Before you cast it aside and ignore it, however, please consider the source.  The originator of this quote was King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.  Solomon was a man of great wealth and political power who had the unprecedented opportunity to do whatever he wanted.  This man designed and built elaborate palaces and decorated them with the most exotic, imported furnishings of his day.  He grew immaculate gardens, feasted on the finest foods and wines flavored with oriental spices.  He hosted royal guests from around the world, and had scores of beautiful women catering to him.  He equipped and organized a powerful army and lived in a luxurious palace.  He had so much gold, he ran out of things to make from it–everything was made of gold, from the goblets he entertained with to the shields his guards carried.  He had so much silver, it wasn’t considered valuable in his day.  He even had peacocks and apes as pets.  How cool is that?!?

Yet for all his wealth and fame, Solomon, of all people, was the originator of this quote.  Solomon, given the ultimate chance to find happiness apart from God, came to the conclusion that…you can’t.

If you’re like most people, you will try to find joy without giving God a second thought. The raw and unpleasant truth is–you will die trying.

This quote suggests that discontentment exists because we have neglected and forgotten God.  God is our Creator.  He has an overarching Plan for the Ages, and you are part of it.  He has the authority and power to accomplish that plan.  He loves you and wants to take you to levels of joy you can’t even imagine.  He even provides the food you eat.  Yet somehow we feel no obligation to acknowledge Him in our daily routine.

I am convinced that the contentment in God, i.e., finding enjoyment of life in Him, is a worthy goal. In fact, I suggest it is our greatest aspiration, even more so than evangelizing, so often emphasized in contemporary Christianity.

The Apostle Paul said this about contentment in God:

“…I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”   — Philippians 4:11-13

Contentment–the thorough enjoyment of life–is a secret that not many people know, and it only comes from God.  He makes it real for you when the presence of Jesus Christ is living and active in your soul, emboldening you to live with freedom and confidence.

Like Paul, David found contentment in God.  David’s poetic Psalms speak of the fullness he found in a vibrant, familiar relationship with God.  Speaking as to a friend, David says this to God:

“You will make known to me the path of life.  In Your presence is fullness of joy.  In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”  — Psalm 16:11

In God’s presence, you too can find fullness of joy.  Connect with your Creator today.  Give Him thanks in your daily routine–for the air you’re breathing, the food you’re eating, the work you’re accomplishing, and the people you’re loving.  Learn to the secret of contentment that comes with time.  Find enjoyment in God.

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