Money or possessions are not the way to happiness. Yes, we can enjoy these things, but if that is all we are interested in, we will never be content.
God desires far more for us than mere satisfaction: He wants to give us real contentment, a state that comes only through a relationship with Him.
Envy is a work of the flesh, involving coveting. A significant example of envy is found in the relationship of the two wives of Elkanah, Hannah and Peninnah.
Martin Collins, suggesting that we live in a negative, enervating time, indicates that we can have contentment just like the apostle Paul expressed in his letter to the Philippians, a letter in which he thanked the Philippians for their generosity and revealed his secret for having contentment amid negative circumstances. …
John Reid observes that many people live in a state of discontent. Ironically, what they set their hearts upon (wealth, power, influence) often displaces the love for family and a relationship with God. True riches consist of godly character coupled with contentment- a by-product of obedience. Contentment (an inner quality) does …
John Ritenbaugh, cuing onto Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, observes that we must do what we must to keep a relationship with God. Solomon teaches us that money may provide some security, but it cannot be relied upon for satisfaction; only a relationship with God will fill that yawning vacuum. Money is neutral commodity, serving either …
God has made it possible through His Spirit for us to be optimistic and happy even in a world that seems to be crumbling around us.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the curse of a corrupt judicial system described in Ecclesiastes 5:8-9, warns us that corruption in the courts is a fact of life, but it will intensify before Christ returns. We should not be surprised by this curse, realizing that God, who is sovereign over everything, is aware of it and is …
Solomon reveals that God is solidly in control of time. Knowing that God is sovereign over time should fill us with faith in God's workmanship.
Peace is almost impossible to achieve, much less to find, in hectic times. We must come out of that confused, pulsating lifestyle before we can have real peace.
As we age, the pressures of life, work, and experience all contribute to wearing us down. Only a few seem to have learned to remain happy despite hardship.
Righteous men have complained about the ease of the evil for ages, but what is the answer? King David contemplated this, and gives us the answer.
The addiction of gambling comes from the lure of effortless profit and the way of get, motivated by covetousness, which militates against contentment.
Anxious care and foreboding are debilitating and faith-destroying. Meditating on what God has already done strengthens our faith and trust in God.
Have you ever observed someone acting churlishly, throwing a wet blanket on an otherwise enjoyable time? Ronny Graham discovers that the Bible confronts such party-poopers, condemning their killjoy attitudes and commanding us to rejoice appropriately.
A biblical survey of coveting: what it is, what it produces and what a Christian should be doing.
Joy is more than just happiness. There is a joy that God gives, through the action of His Spirit in us, that far exceeds mere human cheerfulness.
Though we can serve in many ways, one area where we often miss a golden opportunity to help others is in prayer. It requires no special skills or equipment.
John Ritenbaugh focuses on Proverbs 30:7-9, in which Agur asks God to cushion him from the extremes of poverty or excessive wealth, allowing himself to live a balanced life of contentment. Wealth has a powerful influence on one's life, causing us to overestimate our own prowess and underestimate God's involvement with us. We …
Solomon provides these comparisons to indicate the choices we should make to live better lives in alignment with God, even in an 'nder the sun' world.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the difficulties in translation from Greek and Hebrew to English, as well as comprehending spiritual truths with a fleshly mind, maintains that it is only through God's Holy Spirit we can comprehend those truths at all. Even with God's Holy Spirit, we have difficulty. Our minds are too finite, …
We must realize that God is sovereign over time all the time, even as it is running out for all of us. God works to make the most of every situation in our lives.
Martin Collins reminds us that in the Declaration of Independence people were guaranteed the opportunity to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, a quest that has proved futile and elusive. This quest should prompt us to carefully number our days and seek a close relationship with God. When we waste our days, we waste them for …
Coveting begins as a desire. Human nature cannot be satisfied, nothing physical can satisfy covetousness, and joy does not derive from materialism.
God emphasizes Ecclesiastes during the Feast of Tabernacles to show the result of doing whatever our human heart leads us to do. The physical cannot satisfy.
Paul wrote some of his most optimistic letters from prison, under the possibility of execution, but absolutely convinced that ultimate victory was imminent.
Martin Collins marvels that despite the continuous dramatic increase of material wealth in Modern Israel, this affluence or prosperity has not remotely led to joy. Clinical depression, requiring professional help (usually consisting of a host of powerful anti-depressant drugs) is almost pandemic in North America, with one in …
Anxiety and fretting (symptoms of coveting and idolatry), in addition to cutting life short, erode faith, destroying serenity by borrowing tomorrow's troubles.
Both Tabernacles and Unleavened Bread keep us off balance so that we remain humble, seek stability, and trust in God's providence for our ultimate destiny.
If Christianity is lived the way Christ intended, rather than as represented by media caricatures, it is one of the most exhilarating and abundant lifestyles.
Often physical prosperity works against godly character and spiritual well-being. To be rich toward God means to seek His Kingdom first, live His way, and trust Him.
When Solomon visits the Temple, he comes away with a sense that too many treat religion far too casually, forgetting that they are coming before God.
Some scriptures seem to say that all one needs to do is ask God in prayer for whatever the heart desires, and He will grant it like a genie rubbed from his lamp.
Psalm 23 depicts the gratitude we should display from a sheep's point of view, as the animal boasts of blessings and marvels about the care of his Shepherd.
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that, although Ecclesiastes contains no direct prophecies, it does not present Christ as Savior, it contains no "thus saith the Lord" commands, and it makes no mention of Satan, nevertheless it does deals with quality of life issues for those who have been called, emphasizing responsibility …
Richard Ritenbaugh, debunking the widely-held belief that Christians lead boring lives, blames the popular media for this negative image. Some churches want to counter this image by glomming onto glitzy, high-energy motivational speakers, short sermons, and Christian rock music. We are admonished by the scriptures not to try to …
The world has little or no idea what true peace is or how it is achieved. Yet we can produce godly peace even in the midst of turmoil—and we must.
The best way to attain true wealth and the abundant eternal life is to loosen our grip on worldly rewards and treasures, and single-mindedly follow Christ.
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that the ordinary cares of life- making a living and being concerned with our security- have the tendency to deflect us from our real purpose- seeking God's Kingdom (Matthew 6:33) Becoming overburdened with devotion to wealth or surfeiting will cause us to lose our mobility or ability to stand, …
Because God is completely just, we have an obligation to be content with what He has given us, to allow Him to use us for whatever purpose He desires.
We learn from Abraham's experience to trust God even when we have incomplete information. When we attempt to take the expedient way out, we will run into trouble.