Why do I even try?
From Ecclesiastes: A 20-Day Devotional
Have you ever been blindsided by a work lay-off or the onset of a chronic illness? Maybe your savings was wiped out for unforeseen home repairs. Sometimes, all it takes is one or two bad breaks to leave us thinking: Has this all been for nothing?
Financial hits reveal the frailty of our own empires and legacies, our temporary glory. In Luke 12:21, Jesus warns us, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
When Solomon’s empire spiraled out of control, he saw that wealth had no meaning beyond this life. In Ecclesiastes 2:22-23, Solomon writes, “What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving…? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest.”
Though Solomon lived thousands of years ago, he knew how it felt to have work demands deplete him of peace and rest.
God used Solomon’s frustration to refocus his attention on his motivation. Frustration is always a good indication of misplaced motivation. One of the best things we can do when we’re growing frustrated is contemplate whether our work is self-centered or God-centered.
Frustration is a good indication of misplaced motivation.
Fulfillment and peace come from aligning our efforts with God’s plan and purposes. We have the most fun and feel the most purposeful when we listen to Jesus and do what He says. As Solomon goes on to write, “To the person who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness…” (Ecclesiastes 2:26).
The way to build a legacy that lasts is to build it around Jesus. God transforms frustration into fulfillment when our legacy is focused on serving Him. God has uniquely gifted each of us, and everything we do for Him will have eternal significance.
When our lives are centered on Christ, we discover the lasting hope 1 Peter 1:4 describes: “ into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.”
- Is there any part of your life that feels meaningless right now?
- Consider your actions over the last week. Are you striving to build your own empire and legacy?
- What’s one step you can take this week to put Jesus at the center of your world?