Pleasure

Day 23: Pleasure is Fleeting but the Gospel is Forever

23 May 2024

3.1 MINS

Intention

To find complete fulfilment in God so we can properly enjoy all things.

Scripture

“I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.’ But behold, this also was vanity.”

– Ecclesiastes 2:1

Reflection

What would you do if you had the wealth and power of a king?

King Charles has a net worth of around A$1 billion. However, his wealth is shadowed by King Vajiralongkorn of Thailand, who has a net worth somewhere between A$50 – 100 billion.

In the Bible, we encounter someone even more wealthy: King Solomon. At the height of his reign, Solomon owned 25 tonnes of gold and had parks, pools and gardens. He also had multiple residences. Solomon had access to all the food and wine a human could ever desire.

On top of this, Solomon had 700 wives, 300 concubines, and hundreds of male and female slaves to meet his every need. He owned singers and entertainers and possessed every beast and animal imaginable. Modern estimates suggest his wealth was upwards of A$3 trillion — an absurd amount of money.

To put that figure into perspective, the richest man today is Bernard Arnault at US$209.4 billion. King Solomon in today’s wealth was worth nearly 10 times what the richest man in the world is worth today!

Imagine for a moment that you were in Solomon’s position. Do you believe that this money and power would satisfy your deepest longings? Solomon was certain it would. Yet, it did the exact opposite.

Why don’t the pleasures of this world satisfy our hearts? It’s because pleasure is momentary. Like vapour, it’s here for a moment. Then it disappears. We experience the excitement for a period, and then the thrill vanishes. Ultimately pleasure is fleeting.

This is not to say that pleasure is all wrong. The pleasures of this life in and of themselves are gifts from God. God invented pleasure and is no stranger to joy. In fact, God created all things in this world for us to enjoy (1 Tim 4:4).

However, the problem is that we try to find ultimate satisfaction and pleasure in these created things. Like Solomon, we think that wealth and power will fulfil our deepest cravings and longings. But we are always left disappointed and looking for more.

God designed pleasure this way to point us to a greater pleasure: knowing and enjoying Jesus Christ. C. S. Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, once wrote: “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Unlike worldly pleasures, the delight of knowing Jesus Christ never ends.

God instilled in humans the ability to experience pleasure and the longing for eternal joy. In Jesus Christ, we find these things fulfilled.

In Jesus, we find forgiveness and the solution to all the longings of our hearts. Only by knowing Him can we properly appreciate all God’s good gifts in their proper place. That’s why we want to tell the world about Him in GO Month 2024 and beyond.

Video

Prayer

Dear Father,

Thank You for meeting our deepest needs in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Forgive us for chasing after the pleasures of this world and reveal to us the greater pleasure of knowing and enjoying You. Help us share the news of Your love with all those around us. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.

Author Bio

James Jeffery

James Jeffery is a trainee Presbyterian minister from Sydney with a passion to see Christian values restored in our society. James grew up in South West Rocks, rural NSW, and went on to complete a Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney. He is now pursuing tertiary studies in theology.

Prayer Points and Purpose for GO Month 2024

  1. To worship Jesus and give extravagant praise to God. 1 Chron 16:23–31.
  2. To pray for revival, repentance and deliverance for Australia and for millions to find Christ. Acts 2:1–41.
  3. To pray for five people by name to find Christ and share the gospel with those five in May. Matt 28:18–20.

We invite you to support this prayer campaign to multiply prayer in Australia for revival and see millions come to Christ. Every donation to the Canberra Declaration helps us promote prayer and make a stand for family, faith, freedom, life, and the good news of God’s love through Jesus Christ His Son.

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Daily devotions are brought to you by the Canberra Declaration.

View GO Month 2024 devotionals on the Daily Declaration website.

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