Life is hard. Sure, there are seasons of goodness and joy, but there are also seasons of incredible hardship and much-needed healing. Whatever season you find yourself in now, you were made for much more than what this earth has to offer—you were made for heaven.
If you're needing that extra motivation to make it through a rough day, you're in the right place. Today, I'm sharing a Bible study for Ecclesiastes as well as a prayer of longing for heaven, and asking for God to grant you the patience and hope needed in the meantime.
A Look at Ecclesiastes 2
"I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless. "Laughter," I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives." ~ Ecclesiastes 2:1-3
This Old Testament wisdom and poetic literature book is the perfect place to head to when you're feeling let down by what the world has to offer. It's often viewed as a somewhat depressing book of the Bible, focusing on how earthly pleasures cannot satisfy the deep need in our life for God. However, this doesn't have to be a doom-and-gloom realization.
There's something remarkably freeing about fully recognizing our deep need for God—and that nothing, absolutely nothing on this earth can replace the joy of knowing and loving Him.
That's really the conclusion the author of Ecclesiastes comes to. After testing the pleasures the world has to offer, like good food and drink, good company, money, power, he recognizes that all is "vanity of vanities." Meaning, all is worthless.
In this context, vanity is the Hebrew word hebel, meaning a puff of air—insubstantial, valueless, impermanent, uncontrollable.
In stark contrast, everything about God's character is the exact opposite of hebel. While the things of this earth are fleeting and impermanent, God is constant and never-changing. The seasons we experience may be uncontrollable and wild, but God is steady and peaceful. In this, we can rejoice.
We serve a God who is the source of our joy and comfort.
Earthly Pleasures Cannot Compare
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11
You know that realization that nothing you experience in this world can match knowing God? That's because He has set eternity in your heart. You see, we're hardwired to be in relationship with God. It's in our DNA. When we aren't living in deep relationship with Him, we feel something's off.
That's why this book of the Bible doesn't have to be so depressing. Recognizing our need for God is a wonderful, beautiful thing. In fact, it could just be the breakthrough you've been needing to move forward in your apprenticeship to Jesus.
We are made in the image of an eternal God.
Our longing for something greater, something more meaningful than our daily happenings, is there for a reason. View this as an invitation to go deeper into communion with our Creator.
While we cannot fathom God's plan for our future, we know it is safe in His capable hands. The days are long, the work is hard, and all the while we're getting older and older, but we know that we have a true home in heaven. It's waiting for you. So take a deep breath, thank God for this realization, and pray that you may seek His face in your daily lives.
A Prayer of Hope as You Wait
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this day, this moment, this breath. I recognize that every second on this earth is a gift from you. With every moment comes a new opportunity to serve you and get to know you better. I pray I may use this sacred time on earth wisely, and that I may further the coming of your kingdom through my words and deeds.
While I'm hopeful in my future with you, I must admit that life on this earth is incredibly taxing. Give me patience and joy as I wrestle through each day. I recognize that I live in the midst of a spiritual battle—a war over my very soul. Direct my gaze to what is true, what is good, and what is of you. Don't let me get bogged down by the lies of the enemy.
Above all, I pray you may give me a newfound sense of hope today, Jesus. While nothing on this earth can replace knowing and loving you, I pray I would not give up. Give me the strength and the optimism to fight the good fight and continue your mission here on earth.
In your beautiful name,
An Uplifting Reminder
We know just how meaningful a small reminder of Christ's love and presence can be. That's why we created our Christian t-shirts and accessories! Featuring beloved Bible verses and oh-so-cute imagery, our collection of faith-based apparel is sure to put a smile on your face.