What does man gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?
I believe what Solomon was looking for and perhaps lacked was love! Love is what man can gain, though it cannot be earned by labor. Love is a gift. Love gives us meaning. Love gives us hope. You were made to love.
You can’t earn love but you can give love. Live like you’re dying today and make that extra phone call. Who do you need to say “I love you” to?
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. -1 Corinthians 13:1-2
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. –James 1:5-8
I have been on a search lately striving for a stronger faith, but the problem is faith cannot be forced. We cannot wake up one day and say, “today I have strong faith.” It’s not so much a choice I’ve found but a gift from God that usually comes as the outcome of my experiences. Of course there are those that say to be weary of basing your faith all on experiences, but if we can’t experience God then what is the Bible about? It is an entire book of experiences. We believers long for these experiences—these little tastes of heaven. Just a brush of God’s fingers across my back can rejuvenate me and fill me up to be ready to face to the world.
The problem is when I go through these spiritual dry spells, lacking experiences, the doubting and “big questions” start to take me over. My brain flips on it’s God given, instinctual philosophical thinking. I begin to analyze everything and postmodernism begins to eat at my faith. “One’s perception of truth is all subjective” they say… Well, by definition there can only be one truth to our existence and every person by nature has to have a worldview on the way they perceive life. I suppose postmodernism is just being honest with ourselves, admitting that we can never be absolutely sure that our worldview is correct. Whatever our worldview is—whether theism or atheism, creationism or evolution, Buddhist or nihilist—we all place a certain amount of faith into our perception of truth.
I have felt quite unstable lately. I have become “the double-minded man.” Christianity teaches honesty but when I am honest with myself about my doubts I have trouble conforming all my beliefs to Western Christianity. I have prayed to God to help me through it. I have cried out to hear back from Him but I have not been getting anything in reply. I wish I could turn off my mind and just enjoy the simple things of life but I have become obsessed with the unseen. Socrates said “the unexamined life is not worth living” but I’m not so sure I agree with him. I think I would side more with whoever first said, “Ignorance is bliss.” When I was a child I didn’t think so philosophically and I just enjoyed things for what they were. Perhaps that ‘s what Jesus meant when he said “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” By striving to find meaning in life do we completely miss it?
Nothing can stop God’s love for you! NOTHING! His mercy endures forever and His love is never ending. So stop condemning yourself. The Father loves you and nothing will ever change that.
Are you willing to accept God’s love today?
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 8:38-39
“I don’t want to talk about You like You’re not in the room.” Kim Walker sings on the bridge of a song. These words jumped out at me. They hit home and convicted me of an urge and longing I’ve felt for some time—a need to know the real Jesus! Too often I forget that the Holy Spirit is with me. Too often I get caught up in my worldly anxieties and I completely forget that peace is sitting right next to me. I’ve realized that He is always leaning towards me but it is I—who intentionally or unintentionally—push Him away.
“Seek and you will find” Jesus says. Keep leaning on the Lord and the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind.
I called on the Lord in distress; The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place.
I have a lot of random vivid memories of being young. One of them is a time I was at the beach with a friend and his family. I was putting on sunscreen and stretching my arms to cover all of my back. My friend’s dad was behind me and kind of chuckled as I finished putting the lotion on. “You could have asked for help you know!” he said. I replied, “I got it all right?” “Yeah… you got it all.” he said laughing and shaking his head. He obviously thought I should have asked for help and probably thought I was being stubborn, silly or childish by not asking.
I bring this up because now, about twenty years later, I still find myself attempting to do things on my own that would be so much easier if I just asked for help. Not only help from other people but help from God. I’m realizing that I’m stubborn! And no one knows this better than the Lord—and perhaps my wife and mom. I set out to do things and I don’t want to ask for help. My pride and determination tells me I can do it on my own. This is risky, especially in spiritual battles. Battles cannot be won alone because we are fighting an enemy that does not fight fair.
They surrounded me, yes they surrounded me; But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They surrounded me like bees; They were quenched like a fire of thorns; For in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. You pushed me violently, that I might fall, but the LORD helped me.
Call on the Lord and He will answer you in your distress. Take the weight off of your shoulders and give it to Him. We don’t have to do everything alone in life. Lean on Jesus and He will guide you through the storm.