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‘To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner, he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.’ (v26). Ecclesiastes 2:17–26

To an external observer, the life of the righteous and unrighteous look much the same. We are not privy to their private thoughts and misdemeanours. Yet, they both navigate their day in a similar way. Rising to go to work and returning home to rest, one day gives way to the next with very little variance. 

Some question the value of righteous living, as it appears to carry an equal amount of pain and sorrow as the unrighteous (Matt. 5:45). However, the distinction lies within the lens through which we choose to view life.

In our pursuit of God, we have access to a broad understanding of the purpose of life itself. More than that, our brief mortal sojourn is a small, if significant, part of our eternal destiny. Such a perspective can only ever be sustained by faith, one that is the product of knowledge and its offspring, wisdom.

Life presents hardships. We can choose to wrestle with these and moan about our fate, growing increasingly despondent. Or, we can nurture the hope deposited within our hearts by God’s Spirit and choose to endure with a confidence that God is all and in all (Eph. 4:4–6). Faith is a muscle in need of continuous exercise – it might just be that we need to start a fresh workout. 

RELATED SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Psa. 22:1–11; Hab. 2:1–5; 1 Cor. 3:1–15; Eph. 4:7–16. 

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, may I remind myself continually that I am here to glorify and enjoy You forever. Amen.’

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.