Ecclesiastes 1:2, "'Everything is meaningless,' says the Teacher, 'completely meaningless!'"
If you've ever read the book of Ecclesiastes before, you may have found that it is a fairly depressing book. Solomon set out to find the meaning of life, but when he went looking, he said often, "...it is all meaningless -- like chasing the wind." (See Ecclesiastes 1:14).
I'm doing a study on Ecclesiastes right now, and the more I read it, the more I realize this one thing: Without God, life is meaningless.
I got to thinking this morning about what it would be like if I was living my life and thought that after I died that was it. What would my life look like without my relationship with God and the hope of spending eternity with Him?
I suppose I'd be saying along with Solomon that everything is meaningless.
Solomon writes about many things that he believed were meaningless. People are born, but then they die. What you accumulate here on this earth and work so hard for eventually is given to someone else. You came into this world with nothing, and you leave with nothing.
Today, I thought about how there would be no point in doing what I believe is right because the fate of everyone would be the same. The only thing that would keep me from doing bad things would be the fear of the consequence I'd be faced with, not the fear of hurting the God I love.
I believe all of us desire meaning for our lives. We want to make a difference while we're here on earth. We desire to leave a legacy that will be told to our children, grandchildren, and so on.
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, "What will be remembered about me when I'm gone?"
So, here we are reading Ecclesiastes and hearing Solomon say how everything is meaningless. What do we do with that? Is everything truly meaningless? Is there a reason for us being here?
Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"
Psalm 139:16 says, "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."
Obviously, life has meaning if God cares enough to have a plan for our lives.
What is this plan, though? If all things on this earth pass away, what is the point of it all? Where do we find meaning?
The verse that comes to mind about this is Matthew 6:19-21, "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be."
If we take God out of the equation, there will be no meaning for our lives. However, if we put God at the center of all we do, there will be meaning for even the smallest decisions we make.
At the end of Ecclesiastes, Solomon concludes by saying this: "That's the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone's duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.
If you feel your life has no meaning, I just want to encourage you by letting you know that God made you with a purpose, on purpose. You are not a mistake. The plan He has for your life is beyond what you can grasp. If you're tired of trying to find meaning and feeling as if it's all meaningless, run into the arms of God, and I assure you that you'll find the meaning you've been looking for all along.
Dear Heavenly Father,
When I look at this world, sometimes everything does seem meaningless. When I'm looking for meaning in this world, I come up empty because true meaning is only found in You. My prayer is that You'll be at the center of all I do so that every little and big thing in my life will have meaning. Help anyone else who is struggling to find meaning find it in You just as You've taught me to. Help me keep a Kingdom perspective instead of an earthly perspective. Fulfill Your plan and purpose in my life. When I'm long gone from this earth, let my legacy speak of my love for You. In Jesus' Name.