Finding Jesus in Ecclesiastes
Depression. A word that describes unhappiness, hopelessness, and emptiness, the state of many people around the world. 121 million people globally are said to be depressed for various reasons and for various periods of time. Look at some statistics:
It affects 1 in 10 Americans.
It increases 20% every year.
There are many factors that trigger it: medical diagnosis, sleep disorder, lack of education, recent loss, unemployment, obesity, to name a few.
Ages 45-64 is the most prevalent with women twice as likely than men.
The book of Ecclesiastes is truly the writings of a depressed man. King Solomon, the wisest man on earth, who began His life focused on God, slowly slid into this pit of depression. When he was a young man he wrote a love story called the Song of Solomon, when he was older and wiser he penned the Proverbs, however, in his later years Solomon turned away from God and slipped into sexual immorality and idolatry. The result? Depression.
Where can you possibly find Jesus in Ecclesiastes? Think about this. What’s the opposite of hopelessness? Hopefulness. Where is the contrast of a life that seems meaningless? A life full of meaning. Where do we get our hope and value? In Christ.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Solomon’s life is a portrayal of a man who began his life in God with great intensity like his father David but allowed the enemy, through wealth and physical pleasure, to distract him. Eventually he became guilt-ridden and despondent. What was true for Solomon is also true for us. We can also allow the distractions of the world to draw us away from our new life and fall back into our old ways of sin and rebellion. What’s the answer?
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT
Your recreated heart that is full of the Holy Spirit and not sin anymore has eternity embedded in it to remind you of His love and forgiveness. Without that kind of heart there is only a future eternal life without Him. That’s not good news. That’s the reason for emptiness and worthlessness but in Christ we are made new.
Our thoughts are different. Our feelings and emotions are different. Consequently, our behavior should be different. Can there still be depression? Certainly, but we have a sure answer. Repentance comes first, followed by a declared need for God’s help. He is always there for you, He will always listen to you, and He will answer you. The Holy Spirit is called the Helper for a reason. Let Solomon’s life contrast yours this week as you depend on God and God alone. You won’t be disappointed or depressed.