June 13, 2024

The Pursuit of Happiness

Ecclesiastes 2:24-26

This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

—  Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

Sometimes we think that people with more resources have the clear path to happiness. That is why famous artists, actors, athletes, and other celebrities have a large number of followers. We imagine them with the world at their feet and a smile on their lips.

The writer of Ecclesiastes, who probably was King Solomon, dedicated much of his life to the pursuit of happiness. He was the richest, most famous, and most sought-after man of his time. Without limitations, he sought happiness in wealth and the pursuit of pleasures (see Ecclesiastes 2:1-23). He amassed great fortunes and took on great building projects, but all of his money and influence could not bring him true happiness. He sought happiness in the pleasures of wine and feasting and love affairs, but not even a great harem could provide satisfaction.

Ultimately, he sought happiness in fame and success. And the only thing he got at the end of his pilgrimage was a feeling of emptiness.

In the end he found that the object of his long search was actually the Lord, whom he had pushed aside! The happiness he sought in things and in adventures was in God, “for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?”

Lord, it is a frustrating and useless task to seek happiness apart from you. It’s like chasing the wind. There is only happiness when you are at the center of our lives. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

About the author — Hernandes Lopes

Hernandes became the Portuguese ministry leader for Today's sister Portuguese ministry in 2010. He also serves as the director of the organization Luz Para o Caminho (Light for the Way), an organization formed in partnership between ReFrame and the Presbyterian
Church of Brazil. Hernandes has authored more than 160 books and is a popular and respected conference speaker in Brazil. Hernandes graduated from Seminário Presbiteriano do Sul in Brazil and earned a Doctorate of Ministry from Reformed Theological Seminary in
Jackson, MS.

Hernandes and his wife, Tinha, have two adult children.

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