05 as you believeThe third conclusion that Solomon comes to is in Ecclesiastes 3:22. It says, “So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot.” Someone once said that the three ingredients of a satisfying life are someone to love, something to look forward to, and something productive to do. Jesus instructs us regarding the love issue. The greatest commandment is to love God and then to love others. The first requirement is met. He’s assured us of an eternal life beyond the grave. We have something to look forward to. We also have been shaped by God, as Job says, in our mother’s wombs, in order to contribute to the mission He’s giving us to spread His love to others in the world around us. These things make for a fully satisfying life. The world can withhold fame, riches, pleasures, and possessions, but not the three things that make for true contentment. God shines his light down on us and that is enough! Alexander the Great visited Diogenes and found him sunning himself. Alexander say, “Ask any favor or any possession of me and I will give it to you.” Diogenes said, “Please move out of my sunlight.” This led Alexander to say “If I could be anyone other than Alexander, I’d want to be Diogenes.”

Contentment is a gift from God that He gives to all with whom He is pleased. You might remember what the Angel said when he announced Jesus’ birth to the Shepherds. In Luke 2:14 the Angel proclaims, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men…” We often fail to quote the last part of this verse. It goes on to add, “peace to men with whom He is pleased.” What pleases God? Is it great sacrifice? Is it rigorous observation of some ritual? Is it some radical religious expression? Hebrews 11:6 tells us one simple truth, “without faith it is impossible to please God.”

In our loving team meeting someone brought up the question about what made God happy, or what moved God to act in the lives of people, or what pleased God and someone observed that it was only one thing: faith! Faith led him to heal the man lowered down from the roof. Faith led him to heal the centurion’s son. It was a woman’s faith that healed her of 12 years of misery. It was faith the moved Him to give bread crumbs to a hungry pagan woman. He greatest condemnation of His own disciples was “oh ye of little faith.” It is only faith that pleases God. The religious leaders wanted to do all these miracles that Jesus did once approached Jesus to learn the secret. “How can we do the works of God,” they asked Jesus. He simply replied in John 6:29, “the work of God is to believe in the one He has sent.” If we live by faith (not by sight!) we will be able to say what Paul said in Philippians 4:11; “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”