Prayer for the day
Bow down your ear, O LORD, and answer me . . . Keep watch over my life, for I am faithful.
Scripture for the day
What then is the point? The writer of Ecclesiastes is one depressing fellow, and he seems to ask the same question over and over again: What then is the point? What is the point of doing anything if everything is meaningless? What happens when everything we work toward crumbles? What happens when the righteous and the wicked encounter the same kind of life and death?
For the writer of Ecclesiastes, the point of everything is not in our labour or in our success, but is only the care of God for people, and their response to him. Everything else fades away, everything else will fall away, and only God and the things done in his service for his glory will last.
For Paul, this means that everything he boasts in is meaningless except for the surpassing greatness of God in Christ. For Paul, even his suffering is an extension of the grace of God, which is sufficient for every kind of difficulty. Even a life lived in suffering must realize that in the end, that life is not sufficient to save itself, and only the grace of God is sufficient for anything.
This means that the life that is blessed and the life that seems cursed are both reliant on the sufficient grace of God. Only God can give true life, and that life is the life that relies fully on God.
Paul knew that boasting in anything other than the work of God was pointless. He proved his point to the Christians in Corinth by his claims, and then by negating them all. He was weak, in order that God might prove His strength.
May we live that reliant life, based on the sufficient grace of our God. That’s what will truly count.