I’ll never forget a certain text from a high schooler who was a new Christian. I led her to Christ after a Wednesday night service about a month before the text and she was on fire for the Lord. She was bringing friends to church, scheduled to be baptized and excited for her family to attend the service and was getting in God’s Word each day. I’m not sure how she found herself in Ecclesiastes but I remember watching a Cavs game and having a text exchange that went something like this:
ZOE: “Why does God want us to be sad instead of happy?”
ME: “Ummmm, Excuse me?”
ZOE: “It says in the Bible that being sad is better then laughing and I was wondering why it said that, especially since I’ve been happier since receiving Jesus into my heart and life.” (she was a self-proclaimed emo)
ME: “I’m pretty sure the Bible doesn’t say that and although happiness is not the purpose of life and shouldn’t be the number one pursuit of a Christian, I’m pretty sure the Bible doesn’t say God wants us to be sad over being happy.”
Lo and behold she next sent me a verse in the chapter of Ecclesiastes that we read today:
Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad. Ecclesiastes 7:3
This of course led to a conversation about hermeneutics and surrounding context which made more sense to her after pointing out verse 4, right after verse 3, talking about wisdom in the house of mourning (ex. When someone dies and how wise it is to be mourning and thinking about death for it can lead others to thoughts of the afterlife and how unnatural death is and how we were created for eternity). This also led into a conversation on the whole point of chapter 7 which is the value of God’s wisdom over foolishness. A message that is extremely relevant to our current culture and age. You notice how the chapter gives examples of wisdom being gained through trials and times of perseverance instead of the easy, enjoyable times and the folly of giving up.
So today as you read Ecclesiastes 7, look at your times of hardship as opportunities for God’s wisdom and make sure a new Christian starts reading the book of John before Ecclesiastes. 😉
- Can you give an example of a time that God gave you wisdom through a trial or tough time in your life?
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor