“All Was Vanity” (Eccl 2:11)

great_emptiness“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought and on the labor that I had labored to do, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.” vs11

Solomon had it all, but nothing satisfied. He’s travelled the journey for us, and we’ll reach the same conclusion: Everything apart from Christ is utterly vain.

A man has a beautiful wife, only to die! He has silver and gold, only to take none with him. Death is the great equalizer: we leave everything behind, except the soul, which goes to meet God. Therefore, NOTHING but God can satisfy, because He’s created it so. He gave us death and the curse for falling, and only He can relieve the human spirit. “The LORD God made clothing out of skins for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them (Gen 3:21).”

Men deceive themselves with false peace, but it’s utter vanity. He may die happy, but he dies a fool without Christ. Do not think that you’ll find it differently! Christ in the Spirit is all there is.

1     Christ is internal comfort that gets to the soul and gives power over sin. He is not a religious notion that you work up, and He’s not a feeling that we muster. This peace isn’t mind over matter; it is God’s Spirit coming to our spirit with comfort (Rom 8:16); it is God coming to us in reconciliation, convincing us that we are loved, and then filling our heart with unspeakable joy! Peter says, “You love Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy.” It is knowing you deserve hell and have heaven… knowing you’re weak and have Strength… and it is an inner peace that surpasses understanding – NOT subject to circumstances and beyond the widest description. God gives us something special for serving Him, even Himself and complete satisfaction.

2     Do not look elsewhere for what only God can give. Use the world, but do not serve it. “Love not the world”, He says, if you will be happy (1 John 2:15). Focus on Christ, and you’ll do best for your family. Often, we think, what people need is less God and more me. We say, “The children need me to serve God less, so I can raise them better. The wife needs a new house, more than she needs revival!” Dear brothers, don’t slip up here! It is all deceit. Everyone needs you at your best in Jesus Christ because He’s the answer to everyone. Don’t live for the children. Live for Christ. Don’t serve your job, serve the Lord, even if He blesses you with riches. Paul said, “Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy (1 Tim 6:17).”  Don’t preach to be seen, but show Christ, and you’ll be happy with the strength that He gives.

The Devil says, “Make yourself happy. God can’t be trusted.” He lies and misleads us (Gen 3:4). Infinite peace is coming, and Christ is our only peace now. Paul says, “Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”  Do not think that anything else will work but Christ and Him crucified, and you’ll escape vanity to serve the eternal.

3     God’s people need Christ crucified daily and moment by moment! There’s much sorrow in this world, boredom, and need. Yet God’s given us one remedy for every soul ailment, so let’s take it daily, moment by moment, so that our joy may be full (John 15:11). Do not give the impression of hard service: God’s kingdom is peace. Dwell in His commandments, and let peace RULE your heart (Col 3:15).

Get this peace, so that you can love God. Get it so that you can be happy and testify of Him. The world is blind and plagued, but having God’s peace makes us stick out as ministers. Then, tell them where your hope is found. He says, “But honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you (1 Pet 3:15).”

There’s no need for phony church smiles when God gives joy freely. There’s no need to walk in confusion when peace is ours through Christ. Do not seek in the world what’s in the Savior. Do not give your holy soul to dogs. 

The world has no comfort without Christ, but we have the Comforter. Use Him for the expressed purpose that He’s given, which is to teach us Christ. Then, God’s peace will be ours, as we do His will.

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