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Living a Good Life: How to Enjoy Life, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
March 12, 2024 10:00 am

Living a Good Life: How to Enjoy Life, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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March 12, 2024 10:00 am

Solomon has some key advice for us about how to enjoy life.  In this message, Pastor Rich looks at Ecclesiastes 8:14-17 to give us truths for facing the beauty and pain of life with God-honoring success. Let’s listen in.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Solomon has some key advice for us about how to enjoy life. In this message, Pastor Rich looks at Ecclesiastes 8, 14-17 to give us truths for facing the beauty and pain of life with God honoring success.

Let's listen in. This is the third part of a message first preached on June 17, 2018 at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. It's part of a series in Ecclesiastes called Living a Good Life, Making Sense of the Journey. The gifts of God are not your chief good. And how many people walk through life enjoying the gifts of God, whether they acknowledge their gifts of God or not, but they walk through life enjoying the gifts of God and too many are pursuing those gifts as if those gifts are the chief good. A position, a person, power, all of these are gifts of God, but if we pursue them as if they are the chief good, you're not going to enjoy life.

You'll miss out. And this is an example of the rich fool in Luke chapter 12. Remember, he filled up his barns and they were getting stuffed so he tore them down and built bigger barns and he takes his ease at night. He says in Luke 12, and it says, Eat, drink, and be merry. They're good.

They're good. The gifts of God were his chief good. And what did God call him? You fool. You are not rich towards God. You want to enjoy life? Then don't make his gifts your chief good and don't abuse them.

Don't misuse them either. And that is one clear way that we abuse the gifts of God is when we make them our chief good. When God's gifts are our chief pursuit instead of him, you will be unable to enjoy life with satisfaction.

So Solomon is teaching us how to enjoy life. Number one, understand the brevity. Number two, enjoy the experience. Number three, embrace the mystery. Embrace the mystery. When we have an acute sense that things are not as they should be, we have the desire to somehow connect the dots. We try to fit the pieces of the puzzle together and we can't.

Because you know what? If it were just up to us to fit the pieces of the puzzle together, we'd put them in the wrong place. And sometimes the experiences of life come and you look at them and say, How does this fit into God's plan for my goodness?

How does this fit into God's goodness? We ask those questions, don't we? How do you embrace the mystery? First of all, you take the pieces of the puzzle as they come.

Take them as they come. All good gifts come from the Father of Lights. James tells us that. Listen, sometimes they come in the form of storms and pain. Do you understand that? Laura Storey said that very well in her song. We read it this morning, Count it All Joy. Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, James says.

Why? Because these things are so pleasurable? No, because they produce something. They develop the soul so the soul will prosper. That's how you enjoy life. You don't enjoy life by simply amassing stuff to yourself and surrounding yourself with gifts.

You enjoy life when your soul prospers. Romans 11-33, how unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways. Deuteronomy 29, 29, the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever that we may do all the words of this law.

And even one of Job's friends in Job 5 verses 8 and 9, as for me, I would seek God and to God would I commit my cause who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number. Let me finish this line. To embrace the mystery, we enjoy life by embracing the mystery. Receive the pieces of the puzzle knowing the one who entrusts them to you has fit them all together. So as we embrace the mystery, we need to take the pieces of the puzzle as they come and then the negative side of that is do not force outcomes. Too many stress themselves over discerning or manipulating outcomes to the inequities and the mysteries of life. If we're trying to, if something is incongruous and we want to find out how does this make sense, what is God doing, we can put ourselves in a place of analysis paralysis and do nothing until we think we figured out what God's doing and we're wasting time. That's what He says in verse 17. You can't fit the pieces of the puzzle together so don't try. It's not your job to fit them together. God does that. That's His responsibility.

And sometimes we try to manipulate outcomes, the things that don't make sense. If you're watching the U.S. Open yesterday, Phil Mickelson, one of the classiest players in PGA golf, one of my favorites. He's on the tenth hole at Shinnecock Hills where they're playing the U.S. Open. In the third round yesterday, the tenth hole, it's a par four and he's putting downhill and the ball goes beyond the hole and it keeps rolling downhill and you know what Phil does?

He runs after the ball and taps it back while the ball is still rolling. Now some of you are saying, what on earth are you talking about? And others are saying like, what? He did that?

And that's true. The commentators were like, what did we just see? It is so out of character for him to do this because he was so incredulous that he missed a putt.

It's a par four and he got ten on that. That's trying to manipulate outcomes. Verse seventeen says, he will not find out. He cannot find out. Listen, if you could or think you do fit the pieces of the puzzle together, then you would eliminate the need for faith. You would not need to trust God and you desperately need that.

Desperately. You need to surrender under the benevolent hand of infinite God. Again, accept the sun and reign of his sovereignty. Deuteronomy 29, 29, the secret things belong to the Lord but the things that are revealed belong to us. Listen to this. Listen, please.

What is necessary for us is revealed. You don't need to stress yourself out trying to figure out what God is doing. It's not your job to do that. You will miss out on enjoying life when you do that.

Here's what you need to do. By embracing the mystery, take the pieces of the puzzle as they come and not forcing outcomes. When you are in the dark, when things seem dark, when you are in the dark, trust the light that has been given.

That's Deuteronomy 29, 29. Trust the light that has been given or we would never know how a wicked, violent crucifixion could be the singular event in history that redeems creation from the curse of God's necessary judgment. Embrace the mystery.

You see, your chief gift is God himself in the person of his son. So, final point today. How to enjoy life?

Let me put it in a nutshell. The three points that we've made, understand the brevity, enjoy the experience, embrace the mystery. How to enjoy life?

Here it is. Be a trusting, thankful steward of God's gifts. And remember, the chief gift is God himself in the person of his son. So those of you who are older here today, you can look at somebody who is younger and say, listen to this. And those of you who are younger today need to be saying, I need to be listening to this.

So that you don't get into your older days and have to write yourself a letter, dear younger me. Embrace the mystery, folks. It is not your job to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

That's God's business. And here's the good news. That work is done. He already knows and sees the big picture. He's just handing you the pieces of the puzzle. This is where you fit in to his big picture.

That's a delightful thought. Take that one. Take that one. Because as Romans 11, 36 says, that great doxology of Romans chapter 11, for from him and through him and to him are what? All things.

All things. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy. To the only God, our savior, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever. And God's people said, Amen. Thanks for joining us here at Delight in Grace. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in him. The one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on weekdays at 10 AM.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-12 12:14:24 / 2024-03-12 12:18:27 / 4

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