“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.”
I think that sometimes we get so caught up in all the rules of what we shouldn’t be doing, that we can sometimes get the wrong idea about what God wants for our lives. Christianity isn’t just a set of rules meant to keep you tame and boring. It’s not just a practice of restraint and abstinence from everything enjoyable about life. That’s completely contrary to Scripture and the will of God, yet so many of us fall into the trap of believing that lie.
This verse from Ecclesiastes gives us a small glimpse of what God really wants for us in this life. And if you think about it, it sounds a lot like what I imagine Jesus’ life was like. I believe that Jesus was happy very often, and that he did immeasurable good. The gospels say that he enjoyed the eating and drinking of a meal with his closest friends. His work, the traveling, healing, teaching, and everything else, must’ve been difficult, but I believe he found great satisfaction in it.
Our lives can be that way as well, even without the sinful pleasures that the world says are necessary to have fun. The simple things like having a meal with friends and family, doing good simply for the sake of doing good, and a satisfying day’s work are all simple pleasures that God intended for us to enjoy.
God’s will for us was to enjoy a perfect and pleasant world. Sin corrupted that plan and introduced the suffering and pain that keeps us from enjoying life. So often we think of sin as the escape from the pain when in fact it is the source of it.
Following Christ isn’t a guarantee that your life will always be fun and enjoyable and pleasant, but it is a guarantee that you’ll see the important things, be grateful for them, and enjoy them regardless of the circumstances. It is a guarantee that you’ll have hope for a perfect life to come. It is a guarantee that one day you’ll experience the fulness of joy and happiness and pleasure in the presence of God himself.
Thank you for the good gifts that you’ve given us to enjoy on earth. I pray that you would grant us the humility to be grateful for the gifts you’ve given rather than focusing on what we lack, and that in doing so we will be happy and satisfied with the life you’ve given us.
In Jesus’ Name,