Dreams, Goals and Work That Lasts

woman holding up plan
Search your heart today. Are you disappointed? Disillusioned? Discouraged? What did you think would bring you happiness? (iStockPhoto.com)

"I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him" (Eccl. 3:14, NKJV).

Although Solomon was the greatest king who had ever lived, he knew what he had built in Israel would not endure forever. Eventually, this caused him to despair (see Eccl. 2:18-21). Yet while Solomon's achievements were destined to someday fade, the heavens shining above his works remained steadfast. The sun, moon and stars that lit Solomon's kingdom would continue to shine long after his descendants rested in their graves. God's work would never fail.

It was humbling for Solomon to find that all his wisdom could not preserve his possessions or lengthen his days. All his glory was like the grass—one day splendid, green and life-giving, and the next cut down and swept away. The book of Ecclesiastes is his lament of this earthly, temporary life. At the end of his days, he concluded:

"'Meaningless! Meaningless!' says the Teacher. 'Everything is meaningless!'" (Eccl. 12:8, NIV).

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Have you ever ended up disillusioned and disappointed by something that once brought you happiness? Like Solomon, each of us has thought at one time or another, "If only I achieved this or had that, I would be happy!" Only we discover that once we achieve these things, we still are not satisfied. Then we become discouraged.

There is nothing wrong with having goals and dreams! God made us with the creative capacity to dream. But outside the provision of God, none of us are able to enjoy the blessings He gives us. Hear Solomon again:

"Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God" (Eccl. 5:19, NIV, emphasis added).

Scripture tells us that "a dream fulfilled is a tree of life" (Prov. 13:12, NLT). It is a good thing to see a dream fulfilled or a goal achieved. But our fulfillment comes from God, not from any tangible gift He gives and not from anything we attain. Happiness is not an automatic byproduct when we gain possessions or achievement. We need the grace and peace of God so that we can enjoy the life we are given.

Search your heart today. Are you disappointed? Disillusioned? Discouraged? What did you think would bring you happiness? Take your hurt and frustration to your Father, who will tenderly heal your heart as you refocus your desires and attentions on Him. Allow Him to speak to your innermost being and set your course right once more. What is He speaking to you now? Whatever God does in and through you, it shall be forever!

Adapted from The True Measure of a Woman: Discover Your Intrinsic Value and See Yourself as God Does (Charisma House, 2007) by Lisa Bevere.

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