Ecclesiastes Study/ Holiness

5 Things That Won’t Make You Happy

I often let out a sigh of relief once I have finished tucking all of my kids into bed for the night. It usually turns into a 3-ring circus as I try to wrangle all three of them into bed myself. Whether it’s been a challenging or a good day, I still am relieved that its bedtime. Often, I jokingly text my husband that I need chocolate to make me happy after a trying day. (With owning a pharmacy, he works 13 hours day so I’m home managing the kids alone.) Is there anything more satisfying than enjoying chocolate in the still quiet after bedtime? I think not. Ahem.

But then it’s morning already, another day begins whether we are prepared for it or not. Typically that happiness that we felt the night before walks right out the front door as soon as the children start arguing first thing in the morning.

I need chocolate, we think to ourselves.

As amazing as chocolate is, it won’t ever be enough to satisfy our souls. We will always crave more.

As we begin our Bible study of the book Ecclesiastes, we are told 5 things that won’t bring us happiness either.

Are you searching for happiness in all of the wrong places? Are you overworking yourself, trying to make more money or going from one failed relationship to the next? If so, chances are you are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. Here are 5 things that won't make you happy but also what actually will.

Humor

I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? Ecclesiastes 2:2  

Everyone loves to laugh and enjoy a good joke. Most preachers even start off their messages with a quick joke to get everyone’s attention.

My husband has an amazing sense of humor. He is forever making me laugh so hard my sides hurt and will often have the entire auditorium laughing when he has the microphone.

In Proverbs, we are told that a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.  Laughter is good for the soul.

But it will not change our lives by bringing us lasting happiness that our soul craves deep down.

Wine

I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life. Ecclesiastes 2:3  

I’m probably going to step on some toes here, but it’s in the Book. Alcohol is the downfall of so many great people.

The book of Proverbs is filled with so much instruction warning us to stay away from it.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Proverbs 20:1  

Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Proverbs 23:29-32  

The drunkard keeps going back to their drink because they want to feel happy again. They want to numb the pain in their lives and are using alcohol as a temporary relief.

You are setting yourself for destruction when you invite this habit into your life. Like everything else, the effects are only temporary.

I could go on about how alcohol affects people, their children and their homes because I grew up in a home with drug and alcohol abuse. I’ve witnessed firsthand how it will never satisfy that need for happiness.

Work

I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: Ecclesiastes 2:4-6  

Have you ever met someone who throws themselves into their work and let everything else in their lives fall by the wayside? Or maybe their home life is such a mess that they think that pouring themselves into their work will bring them happiness. Only it only causes them to drift more and more instead. Micheal Hyatt has a great article on this topic because he admits that he experienced this firsthand and can testify that overworking yourself won’t bring you happiness.

Maybe, you don’t work but you seek to fill your days with too many commitments. Are you always volunteering for every task, working yourself to the bone for other people? Doing so won’t bring happiness either. At the end of the day or at the end of that commitment, you still are going to find that it was all vanity as you seek the next opportunity.

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? Ecclesiastes 1:2-3  

Are you searching for happiness in all of the wrong places? Are you overworking yourself, trying to make more money or going from one failed relationship to the next? If so, chances are you are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. Here are 5 things that won't make you happy but also what actually will.

Relationships

I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: Ecclesiastes 2:7  

How many of us got married expecting our spouse to fulfill our every need and make us happy? Truth is, they can’t. Too many of us learn that the hard way.

There are too many single people out there going from one failed relationship to the next because without a boyfriend or girlfriend they can’t be happy.

There is no person, on this planet who will bring us happiness.

Wealth

I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: Ecclesiastes 2:8a  

If only we were able to make more money, then we will be happy. Right? 

If only we could have a bigger house or a nicer car, then surely we will be happier. Right?

If I get this promotion, I will be happy!

Aren’t we all guilty of thinking like that at one time or another? Instead of learning contentment, we long for more.

Money isn’t going to bring happiness.

 

While I like to think that a piece of chocolate will bring me happiness, the truth is is that it’s only temporary happiness. It will fade, just as the happiness of these 5 things will eventually fade away. Only when we are seeking the Lord wholeheartedly will we find that true happiness and joy that our soul craves and seeks for in all of the wrong places. The devil uses these traps in order to trick us into thinking that this temporary happiness will last a lifetime. But we are forewarned that they are all vanity, they’re all empty fruitless labor. When we give our hearts to the Lord’s will and choose daily to walk in His will instead of our own, it is then and only then that our soul will be satisfied.

 

Your turn! Are you seeking after any of these 5 temporary forms of happiness? What would you add to the list that maybe isn’t listed in Ecclesiastes?

This post may be linked up with any of these blogs.



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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Long Ladies
    March 28, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    So true! The only lasting joy we can find is in Jesus Christ. The joy of the Lord is our strength. It’s important that we find contentment in whatever state we are in. This is a lesson the Lord is constantly teaching me.
    Thanks for posting on this!
    ~Haley

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      March 31, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      The joy of the Lord is our strength, praise the Lord for that!

  • Reply
    Kristina
    March 29, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Relationships. that is the one I struggle with the most. I think the way I look at it is how they make me feel. If they are down, then I am down. Then I go into people pleasing mood. Blah! My prayer has been lately to be satisfied in Christ so I can love my love ones with His love and not in my own strength.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      March 31, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      The struggle is real. I think as women, we tend to feel the emotions of those around us more than we probably should. God will answer your prayer and show you how, I know He will!

  • Reply
    Karen A Del Tatto
    March 29, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Your posts are always so encouraging and edifying!

    I tend to be someone that falls into the “happiness by relationship” category.

    I agree with you that when we seek the Lord with our whole hearts is when we find true happiness. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you”.

    I have been blessed by my visit here today. 🙂

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      March 31, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that, Karen. Your sweet comment made my night. Thank you!

      I’m with you, relationships are an easy trap for us women to fall into.

  • Reply
    Betsy de Cruz
    March 31, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Love this wisdom here, Ana. It’s so important to remember daily that only our relationship with God brings lasting joy. It’s so easy to go after other things.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      April 1, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      The cares of this world love to trick us with what they have to offer, don’t they?

  • Reply
    Monique Dean
    March 31, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I think you hit the nail on the head! I’ve met others who looked to their children for happiness, but the ones you listed are by far the most common…the bottom line is stop looking for happiness in all the wrong places, you’ll never find it in things or in people. As it was brought out in another comment, our lasting happiness comes from having a relationship with our Creator. Wonderful post!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      April 1, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      Oh, that is a good addition to the list!! I completely agree and have seen that as well. Sadly, I’ve seen how badly it turns out as well. Our children grow up and leave us, we so need to remember that when they are young!

  • Reply
    Karlene Arthur
    April 1, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Great truths shared in your post! We all can take this to heart no matter how long we’ve been believing and serving Him. (Visiting today from #FaithFilledFriday where we are neighbors.)

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      April 1, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      That’s right, Karlene! Thanks for visiting from the linkup!

  • Reply
    Shannon @ Of The Hearth
    April 2, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Great reminders here, Ana. So often I think I would be happier “if my husband could get home from work earlier” or “if I could get everything settled in our house after our move.” These just create an illusion of happiness, though. I need to press in a find my joy and contentment in the Lord!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      April 3, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      Yes, I’m guilty of those as well. Contentment in the Lord is what we need for situations like those. At least our husband’s are coming home from work, right? Or are working to provide. Finding things to be grateful for certainly puts things into perspective!

  • Reply
    Lori Schumaker
    April 2, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    What a great list! These things all are good to have in our lives! They help to keep us in a positive mind-frame, but essentially they will never bring us full peace or joy – only Jesus can do that!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

  • Reply
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom
    April 4, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    This was WONDERFUL! At church yesterday, our pastor discussed worldviews and how they affect us and the decisions we make. Some of the things he shared were echoed here in your post.

    So encouraging!

    Thank you so much for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      April 4, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      That is awesome, I love when things like that line up! I’ve often struggled with something and the encouragement that I needed shows up in my email at some point throughout the day. God is so good!

  • Reply
    Gail
    April 5, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Great wisdom in Ecclesiastes, isn’t there. And #6 thing that won’t make us happy: Chocolate! : )
    Love your intro.
    Gail

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      April 6, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      Yep, so true! It comes close though but never truly satisfies 🙂

  • Reply
    Stefani @ Crafty Christian
    April 5, 2016 at 10:05 am

    There is so much truth to this! I know when I got married, I had completely unrealistic expectations of my husband. I recently saw a wonderful quote that said “I can’t expect my spouse to always fulfill me and keep me happy. Even a wonderful husband makes a very poor God.” There is no substitution for our God, yet these tangible things are easier to try to grasp onto! It’s something I have to work at, intentionally, every day!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      April 6, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Same here! I love that quote! Thanks for sharing it.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    April 11, 2016 at 12:51 am

    This is all so very true and something to keep in mind during difficult times. The items listed in this post only bring about fleeting relief from the pain we are trying to escape. True happiness lies in finding our faith and reaching out to the Lord. Thank you for sharing.

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