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Chapter 3 Discussions

posted Nov 2, 2011, 9:18 AM by Lynn Squire

Can a person be good enough to keep himself from trouble?

Trouble will come no matter how hard we try to live a pure and perfect life. We can give away all our money to feed the poor and experience heartache. We can give our entire life to finding a cure for AIDS and experience difficulties. We can even hide ourselves away from all others and live only to study Scripture and pray, and we still would not be good enough to keep trouble from coming our way. It is inevitable.

God counted Abraham righteous because he believed in God (Romans 4:3), yet Abraham still experienced heartache. Abraham's faith didn't even keep him from experiencing hurt in his life.

Not until we are in Heaven will we be free from the pains of life. How then should we live?

Solomon, the wisest man on earth said:

I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. (Ecclesiastes 1:14, KJV)

If our focus in life is comfort and security we will be greatly disappointed. We naturally fear hardship and hurt, but we shouldn't give into that fear. I venture to say we should welcome trials as readily as we welcome comfort, for they help us refocus our thoughts and our purpose.

 Listen to Solomon:

Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing bnetter, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him? (Ecclesiastes 3:22)

Happiness and contentment do not rely on worldly profit or security to survive. They emerge from our decision to enact them, to make them a part of our moment by moment living.

Solomon also says:

In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him. (Ecclesiastes 7:14)

Aren't we vain people that we think we should have prosperity? We seem to have this notion that God must keep us safe and away from hardship. We subconsciously claim it as a right.

Oh, the idea that we should humble ourselves and accept our lot is very difficult for us to incorporate into our lives. We want to wallow in our misery. We don't want anyone to tell us we don't have a right to claim that God must answer our prayers the way we want them answered. We get downright angry with anyone who dares to say we have no right to grumble about our circumstances. Fact is, our pride rises up and spits out venom at all who do not give us the sympathy we think we deserve. (Even now we might be grinding our teeth and about ready to slam our finger into the delete button).

Solomon leaves us with this thought:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

 Ah, this slays me...every secret thing. I don't know about you, but I know that I often have plural motives for the things I do. My selfish character regularly overwhelms my desire to live a godly life. Remembering that the way to success in life is not through worldly acclaims or riches, but through fearing God and keeping His commandments no matter the circumstances helps me to put everything in focus. I need to do this daily, even moment by moment.

Dear Lord,

Forgive me for being proud and vain and for pursuing vanities. Help me Lord, to accept what comes my way with the grace You provide. Thank you for salvation. In Jesus' name, Amen.