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God’s Promises: Regarding Living in the Past

Published: Wednesday, 28 May 2014 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.   Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

The verses above come from the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament.   Overall, it is a depressing book written by the wisest man that ever lived, Solomon, David’s son.  He researched the idea of what makes man happy in this world.  He actually experimented with many things himself with the conclusion that happiness cannot be found in the world.  If you will read the verses above again, you will note a certain depressed attitude.  I want to concentrate on what Solomon has to offer you that will drastically change your attitude toward your personal life.


In verse 18, Solomon identifies three things that are good: eat, drink, and find satisfaction in your labor.  He described the labor as most of us would describe it today: “toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.”  These words lean toward a negative tone and clearly describes our modern day rat race.

In verse 19, Solomon qualifies the source of “good” wealth as that that comes from God.  God also gives you the ability to enjoy them.  This would not be the case for most wealthy people today, because, instead of enjoying it, they consume it on themselves in extravagant and vulgar ways.  Solomon was one of the richest men in the world.  He calls all of the gifts regarding wealth as gifts from God.  Again, extremely few wealthy people look at wealth as a gift from God.

Verse 20 is for you.  If you can understand its impact and apply it to your life, your attitude will change greatly.  He is continuing to talk about rich people who treat their wealth and possessions as a gift from God.  I hope you can see that Solomon hasn’t been talking about rich people as we define them.  He is talking about you and me and anyone who views their wealth and possessions as gifts from God.  If you do, God provides the most wonderful gift of all that impacts our entire lives.  God’s promise is that He will keep them occupied with gladness of heart.  This is so good.

Another way of saying “They seldom reflect on the days of their life” is to say that they don’t worry about their wealth and possessions, their families, what the future may look like, and all the other things that occupy a person’s mind that is not Godly.  One big one is when something big happens in your life (bad or good), your mind will be preoccupied on that even for years.  For example, something in high school or college that was a success or a failure could occupy your mind in a negative way.  Other examples are a divorce; loss of a loved one; bankruptcy; foreclosure on your home, loss of job; and, many more.

God is giving you the key to peace and contentment on this earth: believe that everything you have and own is a gift from God.   Instead of being in bondage to anything in your past life, God will keep you occupied with greatness of heart.  Praise the Lord!  Basically, if you are always living in the past, I don’t see how you can know God’s plan for you in the future.  This is just like driving a boat by watching its wake.  Try God’s plan for removing those things in the past.

This is a spiritual truth that could be new to you.  If it is, I suggest you do a complete heart and mind motivated evaluation of everything you own.  You must get a clean conscience from the Holy Spirit before God’s promise becomes effective.

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