Trapped in an Evil Time

Today's devotion from Ecclesiastes 8 and 9.

It would be easy to look to your circumstances for a means of assessing what God thinks of you. It just seems to make sense that God's pleasure with us would lead to favorable situations. Yet, it's not quite that easy according to the author of Ecclesiastes. In life there is only the certainty of death, and it is coming for the wicked and the righteous.

Beyond this certainty, the only other assurance we have is that we will all face difficulty because, "the hearts of people are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live." (Ecclesiastes 9:3, CSB) The reality of evil insures that the world will be filled with various trials for the totality of your days.

However, he encourages his readers to make the most of their days. Eat, drink, and be merry! "Whatever your hands find to do, do with all our strength, because there is no work, planning, knowledge, or wisdom in Sheol where you are going." (Ecclesiastes 9:10, CSB) In other words, enjoy your days because they are coming to an end. You only live once, so make the most of it.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

Look at Ecclesiastes 9:7, "...for God has already accepted your works." He continues, "Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life, which has been given you under the sun, all your fleeting days." (Ecclesiastes 9:9, CSB) Everyone will experience times of difficulty, but we can still enjoy life. And, in fact, we should.

InĀ The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis makes a pretty strong case for God's glorification in our enjoying the small things in life. Sometimes, it is not the circumstances of our lives that are the most important indicators of our relationship with God. Troubles will come, but joy can still be experienced, because it is the peace of God that speaks louder than our difficulty.