Seeking Answers; Finding Joy

A Study in the Book of Ecclesiastes

 

 

 

Sometimes we get frustrated with life.  Its difficulties and inconsistencies make us desperate for answers, but God offers something better than answers.  He offers himself.  Ecclesiastes is an invitation to the weary traveler who is frustrated, beaten, and worn, to enter a shelter and lay your questions there.  It also speaks to the person who finds life very unfulfilled.  God offers the solution to dissatisfaction.  We will scratch our heads together at times.  We will wonder at the mysteries of God.  We will ask hard questions.  Ultimately, we will find joy in him.  This journey begins at the gateway of fearing God. 


Finding Joy in Renewed Purpose

Ecclesiastes 12:9-12:14

Abraham Cremeens

August 29, 2021

At the conclusion, one more stake is driven into the ground. The Preacher has offered much wisdom for the world God has made. His wisdom is good and necessary for this broken world. This conclusion points ultimately to a final mantra for Christians. After all has been heard, God’s people must hold on to their purpose: You were born for worship.

Finding Joy in our Youth

Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:8

Abraham Cremeens

August 22, 2021

The world is rapidly changing but God’s people have always remained committed to him through the centuries. Our passage today focuses on those who are younger as the next generation of God’s people. The world is complex, but God is clear with how he wants his people to navigate it. He desires that every generation of his people pursue joy in him and rest in him as their Creator. 

Finding Joy in a World Filled with Risk and Uncertainty

Ecclesiastes 11:1-6

Will Peycke

August 15, 2021

There is much we do not know. Given the enigma that life is—its paradoxes and perplexities, how fleeting it is—how should we live? The Preacher advises us to embrace the uncertainty and accept the adventure God gives us. Life is not a math problem we can solve; there is no equation or formula that guarantees success. Instead of being paralyzed by our lack of knowledge or control in this perplexing world, we should use every opportunity to work boldly and wisely in dependence on the God who is over it all.

Finding Joy in Navigating Life with Wisdom

Ecclesiastes 9:13-10:20

Gamaliel Ortiz

August 8, 2021

In this passage, the Teacher contrasts wisdom and folly, specifically as it applies in the areas of power, work, and speech. Though God is not mentioned in this section, he approaches these topics with the underlying foundation that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Finding Joy in Life Against the Backdrop of Death's Darkness

Ecclesiastes 9:1-12

Paul Briggs

August 1, 2021

Most humans would affirm the statement “Life under the sun is full of ‘dangers, toils and snares.’”  If they don’t agree with this statement, either they didn’t understand the question or they simply haven’t lived very long! Jesus said it this way “In the world you will have tribulation (or difficulties), but take heart, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)  Death is the inevitable and unpredictable enemy of man. How should the followers of Jesus Christ live with the inevitable darkness of death approaching? With all of the challenges and unpredictability life brings, God has created His people to live with great purpose and enjoyment. 

Finding Joy in our Sojourning

Ecclesiastes 8:1-17

Abraham Cremeens

July 25, 2021

God is clear that we are sojourners and exiles in this world (I Peter 2:11). In many ways, we don’t belong and are waiting for eternity in his visible presence. How do we navigate this life in the meantime? God is with you in it all. And in the moments of life, he wants you to fear him and enjoy his good gifts as he brings the world toward his intended aim.

Finding Joy in a Fallen World

Ecclesiastes 7:15-29

Abraham Cremeens

July 18, 2021

When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, the fabric of creation and the spiritual DNA of humanity was damaged. Sin has permeated the human experience ever since. The struggles of life under the sun find their explanation in that reality. However, by God’s grace, that same struggle points you to an all-sufficient Savior.

Finding Joy in Heart Work

Ecclesiastes 6:10-7:14

Abraham Cremeens

July 11, 2021

People strive for total control. That was the sin of Adam that repeats itself in every generation. Even as Christians we can be tempted to manipulate God to get our way. But the Preacher offers a better path toward a better life. It is found in a heart that is fixed on God and is surrendered to God.

Finding Joy in God's Daily Gifts

Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:9

Gamaliel Ortiz

July 4, 2021

The Preacher continues to show the meaninglessness of searching for  satisfaction in worldly things. However, we can and should enjoy even the  mundane things of life, if only we acknowledge that they are gifts from  God. We find enjoyment as we seek satisfaction in the Giver, not the gifts.

Finding Joy in Worship

Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Chad Moore

June 27, 2021

The pastor, Solomon, pushes us to examine our hearts as we come to worship. Are our lives marked by routine, performance, or a desire to seek and know God above all else?

Finding Joy in Friendships

Ecclesiastes 4:7-16

Abraham Cremeens

June 13, 2021

Isolation is dangerous for everyone and no less for Christians. Therefore, the Preacher painted a vision celebrating the benefits of relationships and community. God never designed his people to walk with him alone but together. We need one another and life is better with others.

Finding Joy in our Work

Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:6

Gami Ortiz

June 6, 2021

This section of Ecclesiastes explores laboring and toiling under the sun, in the midst of wickedness, oppression, and envy. How is a follower of Christ to work in a way that is meaningful? The Preacher tells us we’ll find joy in our work when we learn to be content.

Finding Joy in God's Gifts

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

Abraham Cremeens

May 30, 2021

There is a time for everything yet some things we wish didn’t exist. Life is good and life is hard. It can be a struggle to know how to navigate. In all seasons, God reminds us to trust him as our good Father. We weren’t meant to do the heavy lifting that only he can do. He instead calls us to enjoy the life he has given in the fear of him.

Finding Joy in Everyday Toil

Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:26

Chad Moore

May 23, 2021

The teacher, Solomon, will take us on a journey to explore how "the more we have, the unhappier we are, because we know we will never be ale to get all the things that we want." Either we are living for life under the sun, living life for ourselves, fully invested in the world, or there is life above the sun. 

Finding Joy in Soul Satisfaction

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

Abraham Cremeens

May 16, 2021

The world is a fun place and yet it leaves us wanting. It was never meant to fulfill. It simply cannot. The Preacher exposes that in true form to stir your heart to its intended aim – God himself. He alone can satisfy and fulfill. In that respect, he is not interested in dulling your life but in filling it full with true joy in himself.

Finding Joy in Fearing God

Proverbs 9:10

Abraham Cremeens

May 9, 2021

Biblical wisdom is wisdom for living God’s way in the world he made. It emerges from reverence for God and desire to honor him through the many twists that come with life. Ecclesiastes helps us observe where life doesn’t always work out the way we would like. It is only in the fear of the LORD that we can have wisdom in a complex world.