I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure (Ecclesiastes 2:10).
If the world avoids pain and pursues pleasure, is pleasure from the devil? Why give the devil credit for what God has given us to enjoy? Every good thing…and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (James 1:17). Paul said, Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude, for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:4).
Our problem with pleasure is that we grab for the gift without acknowledging the Giver, forgetting that only in acknowledging the Giver do we find the ultimate pleasure in the gift. Solomon records, I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself’ (Ecclesiastes 2:1). He denied himself no pleasure: esthetic pleasure for the eyes, ego pleasure for the pride and sensual pleasure for the flesh (2:2-10).
The Apostle John also talked about the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16). All these, John said, were from the world. And the world is passing away. Likewise, Solomon’s conclusion was that he received a reward: immediate pleasure. But this, too, was only a vapor, striving after wind (Ecclesiastes 2:11). There was no lasting satisfaction.
“Delayed gratification” isn’t popular these days; that’s why we don’t hear much about heaven. But by demanding immediate pleasure, we sacrifice the ultimate gift of the enjoyment of life. Jesus said, Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you(Matthew 6:33).
ASK YOURSELF: What gifts do I enjoy that have not been credited to the Great, Generous Giver of all gifts? How can I teach others by example to acknowledge the Giver and find greater pleasure in their gifts?