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What's the Use?

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"What's the use? Life is futile. Nothing will ever turn out right." This really is a very sad and self-destructive frame of mind. Many people fall into trials in life and are overcome with feelings of hopelessness and futility. It is an old story.

Solomon, King of ancient Israel, a man who was given the gift of great wisdom, wrote about it in the opening of the book of Ecclesiastes: "'Vanity of vanities,' says the Preacher; "vanity of vanities, all is vanity. What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun? One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth abides forever. The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it arose. The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north; the wind whirls about continually, and comes again on its circuit. All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again. All things are full of labor; man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:1–9).

With all of his fabulous wealth and power, Solomon became discouraged, some might even speculate suicidal: "I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind. What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be numbered.… Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind" (Ecclesiastes 2:14–15, 17).

We see from this that even those who believe in God and His wisdom can become greatly discouraged if they focus too much on physical things.

The Apostle Paul knew that God has something beyond our understanding in store for us. "But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him'" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Neither your life nor your labor need feel futile. God has a great plan in store for mankind. Again, Paul wrote about it eloquently: "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?'" (1 Corinthians 15:51–55).

Paul ended this inspiring passage with words of profound encouragement and import: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (v. 58).

The Creator God did not intend life to be futile, and His immutable laws and teachings, magnified through Jesus Christ, show the way to understanding your great purpose.

You can learn more by reading Your Ultimate Destiny and The Ten Commandments. You'll be glad you did.

  Originally Published: 19th September 2009