March 4, 2010
What Brings Happiness?
READ: Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
All was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun. —Ecclesiastes 2:11
After studying the effect of the post-World War II economic boom in Japan, Richard Easterlin concluded that monetary growth does not always bring more satisfaction. More recently, economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers conducted surveys in more than 100 nations and concluded that life satisfaction is highest in the richest countries.
So who’s right? Let’s check with the writer of Ecclesiastes. He should know! He was a truly rich man (2:8). He had the means to try everything in this world—and he did! He gave himself to pleasure (vv.1-3), grand projects (vv.4-8), entertainment (v.8), and hard work (vv.10-11). But he concluded that it was all “vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun” (v.11).
Lasting satisfaction doesn’t come from possessing tangible things like savings accounts and material goods. Recent events have shown that these things can suddenly lose value. To find true happiness, we have to find it in Someone who is not from “under the sun.” And that is our Savior, Jesus.
Hymnwriter Floyd Hawkins wrote: “I’ve discovered the way of gladness, I’ve discovered the way of joy, I’ve discovered relief from sadness. . . . When I found Jesus, my Lord.” Only He can give joy that is full (John 15:11). — C. P. Hia
Take the world, but give me Jesus,
All its joys are but a name;
But His love abideth ever,
Through eternal years the same. —Crosby
To know happiness, get to know Jesus.