Enjoyment Without God?

ARTICLE BY DENNY PETRILLO

“For who can eat and can have enjoyment without Him?” (Ecclesiastes 2:25).

Certainly men do eat, enjoying food in abundance.  And men today are pleasure man, enjoying the fruits of unparalleled wealth.  So what is Solomon’s point?

First, that true enjoyment of the blessings of life is not possible, in the ultimate sense, without God.  While some may feel that alcohol with a meal is “the good life” such is, in reality, shallow and empty.  Why? Because one sadly believes that his enjoyment comes purely because of his own efforts and his own abilities. Thus there is no gratitude.  It is a failure to recognize that if God didn’t send blessings to the righteous and unrighteous they wouldn’t have anything at all (cf. Matt. 5:44).

Second, recognizing the hand of God in one’s blessings heightens enjoyment, even in the simplest of blessings.  We don’t need to live in mansions to be happy, to drive a nice car of to have fancy clothes.  Paul says that “if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content” (1 Tim. 6:8).  He also said “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”  How can one successfully do this?  The key: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:12-13).  Solomon, who was blessed with considerable wealth, recognized that having all that one could ever want (see his list in 2:1-11) was “vanity and striving after wind.”  Why? Because true, lasting enjoyment is not found in things or worldly pleasures.

Having God in one’s life provides a “peace that surpasses understanding” (Phil. 4:6), and allows one to rejoice and appreciate all of God’s wonderful blessings.

So what is the answer to our question? Can one have enjoyment without God? No, not true enjoyment.  Only when we have God in our lives can we fully enjoy all that this life has to offer.

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