Time passes quicker every day. We rush from job to job and often forget the big questions: Why am I here? Where did I come from and where am I going? What is beyond this life? There is no guarantee of life – James 4:14. We all have a final appointment with death – Heb 9:27. We need to understand that we have only a limited amount of time here on the earth, and that we do not know when our ‘limit’ will have been reached. We cannot go back and live life over again, so we must learn to number our days – Ps 90:12 “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” We need the insight that Paul had when he said in Phil 3:13-14 “…one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal…”
We find people who are searching for meaning and happiness in many types of places, only to find continuing disappointments. Solomon is an example of one who tried everything. Stocks, bonds, real estate, bank accounts cannot guarantee happiness. Solomon said in Eccl 2:8-9,11 “I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces …I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless.” How happy was Judas ultimately with his thirty pieces of silver, or Achan with his wedge of gold, or Ananias and Sapphira with their hoarded profits? As Paul told Timothy – many have pierced themselves through with many sorrows by coveting wealth.
Solomon had power beyond any king of the time and yet he found no happiness from all of his power – Eccl 2:18-19 “I hated all of the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless.”
Solomon tried pleasure and entertainment. He tried everything that was available and wrote in Eccl 2:1-2 “I thought in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good’. But that also proved to be meaningless. ‘Laughter,’ I said ‘is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?’” When he came to the end of his life, Solomon could look back on everything that he had done or tried and say in Eccl 12:13-14 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment , including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”
Obedience to the word of God and living life praising Him for what we have is the only way to find true happiness and fulfillment. Matt 5:1-12 is a passage called the beatitudes. Jesus gives in these verses instructions on being ‘blessed’ or ‘happy’. Read, study and follow the words of the Bible – real happiness is found in obeying God !!