For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.
They will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind
I have considered the basic desire to live a great life and how it is often secured behind a difficult choice. Those that fail to make the required sacrifice still want to have a life of meaning, though, so now they are left to seek it by less genuine means.
And to this wanting comes many, many counterfeits. Our fascination with fame and worldly glory is perhaps the greatest of these, and this obsession is little more than our misplaced desire for true greatness. We do not see our way to spiritual significance, so we redirect our attention to worldly significance instead.
Of course few that seek fame do gain it, and those that do will find it a valueless currency. Having obtained it there is nothing more for the world to offer, your progression has reached its ultimate. And then, as occurs with all things world-based things, that fame will fade, decay, and ultimately die. Some fame may last longer than others, but all of it is fundamentally transient and will eventually evaporate.
Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.
That the trial of your faith might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
In whom ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Let the saints be joyful in glory
Ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory
As I tried to identify what exactly the “joy” promised in the gospels is, I noticed a subtle association between that word and “glory.” In fact in these two examples joy is being associated with “glory” in both of its forms: first as a verb, meaning to take pleasure in, and then as a noun, meaning to have achieved honor or renown.
In each case “joy” and “glory” seem to be describing a state of deep spiritual gladness and contentment, an exuberant celebration of that which is good. Another word that comes to mind is “rapture.”
And just what goodness is it that we live in rapture of? And joy in? And derive glory from?
First and foremost the goodness of God. We are children who take immense pleasure when our Father reveals Himself in our lives. We just feel more right when we sense His presence and feel His blessings.
Secondly we glory and joy Christ, Jesus. He is our elder brother and our conduit to God. He did all that we wish we could, and he promises us that one day we can live in full harmony with our consciences, just as he did.
Which leads us to our third source of joy: ourselves. We rejoice when we feel ourselves reciprocating the goodness of God and Jesus. There is deep contentment and joy just in having a clean conscience, in doing what we know we should, in being better than we were the day before, in being more like them. This is life eternal.
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
This is my glory—to bring to pass the eternal life of man
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God
We understand God to be a being that has no restraints upon Him. He is not held back by a lack of power, or time, or by any external compulsion. He is, therefore, the freest being imaginable, and His pleasure is to perform whatever work He chooses.
And with that total freedom what has He chosen to do? To make us, His children, and raise us to life eternal. That “life eternal” is defined by Jesus as knowing God. This means to learn of God while here on Earth, but also to know Him perfectly when we dwell forever in His presence.
But for what purpose? Why does God consider it a personal glory to have us live in His presence and receive of His kingdom? And why should we want that ourselves?
Men are, that they might have joy
The answers to those questions are obvious. God wants us to dwell with Him because He loves us. And we want to dwell with Him because doing so will make us happy.
Even a small child understands that heaven means happiness, which is quite significant because there really is so very little that we know about heaven. And yet amidst all the many, many things that we do not know of it, we do know that it is a place of peace and joy. We know it fervently, so much so that we often use heaven as a synonym for happiness.
Not only that, but this idea of heaven=happiness holds firm across a plethora of different cultures and beliefs. It seems that if people believe in a creator, of any sort, then they also believe that dwelling with that entity is the most joyful existence possible. A joy that puts all worldly pleasures to shame.
God with all His power and all His freedom wanted to make us, His children. And then He wanted to make His children happy. It is as simple as that.
Joy, therefore, is the very reason for our existence.