“Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 2:11
So often we can relate to the Preacher of Ecclesiastes. We feel that everything is vain. More than vain, it all seems like a vanity of vanities (Ecclesiastes 1:2). Oh, you did some cleaning yesterday? Well, sorry, but today everything’s just as messy as before you cleaned. You did as much good as striving after wind. Did you turned in your homework on time? That’s nice, now you get some more homework. Nothing to be gained.
Life just repeats. There will always be the pain of vain.
No. Listen. It is not all vain. There is more to life than the things you do that reset everyday. There is a purpose. There’s a sovereign plan beneath it all.
Of course you don’t know all the details of God’s plan for you. But you do know a few things.
1. Where it all ends (yet never ends)
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” – Matthew 6:19-20
This world isn’t permanent. Heaven is. Earth is vain, but Heaven doesn’t have even a single moth that destroys. No rust, no thieves.
One day, Jesus will acknowledge every time you were patient with somebody rather than yelling, every time you chose to say a kind word rather than a hindering one. It will all be worth it.
2. That it is good
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11
If we trust what God tells us, we also trust Him when He says His plans are not for evil. We trust that, even when life seems really bad, there is a future and a hope.
“No pain, no gain,” right? “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” doesn’t it? As we experience God’s plan, we learn to trust Him, and as we trust Him more and more, He gives us more and endurance. More peace.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” – Isaiah 26:3
3. What our purpose is in it
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10
God made us for good works. That’s our purpose. Yes, we’ve got the Holy Spirit, but isn’t it daunting? Actually, we’ve been guaranteed to prevail over the grips of flesh. Pair that verse with this one and you know you can put your confidence in God.
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” – Job 42:2
If God’s plan is for you to conquer sin, no way is anything going to thwart His will. After trial after trial after trial, Job sure learned that. He found out the hard way that God is almighty and that whatever happens, you can trust Him. And this God has a plan for you. A good plan. And it is going to happen.
So keep persevering. Keep trusting, keep conquering, keep growing. Jesus is worth it.