“Sometimes I wonder if I was better off being as ignorant as I was before”.
This was the text message I sent to one of my girlfriends not too long ago. It was a response to a conversation we were having about growth and maturity in our spiritual walk with God.
Today I had the intention of sharing blog content about something unrelated to wisdom and truth. But during my Bible reading yesterday I read chapters one and two of the book of Ecclesiastes. As a result of my reading, I felt compelled to write about it.
The first chapter talks about the futility of the world and about wisdom. The second chapter, speaks to the emptiness of pleasures, possessions, and work.
One passage of the first chapter in particular though gave me pause; Ecclesiastes 1:18. As I read, I felt an overwhelming feeling of empathy for this passage.
Had I read that passage ten or more years ago I may not have stopped to ponder. But yesterday it hit differently. I totally felt what Solomon was saying in the passages of this chapter.
In another blog post, I shared where several years ago I had started praying about my life purpose. As a part of my prayer time, I began to take a much deeper dive into the Word of God. I actually became very consumed as I wanted to better understand the world through the lenses of God.
I dare not say that I got more than I bargained for, because the experience has been life-changing in more ways than one. Some of what I have encountered, at a high level include changes in employment, brokenness in my family, relocation to a new state, and thankfully greater understanding of who God is. The knowledge I have acquired thus far has helped me to grow spiritually.
I think most of us are familiar with the common phrase, “ignorance is bliss”. Maybe, just maybe in some very harmless cases this is true. But is it really bliss if you don’t know? Is living and operating in a way that keeps us blinded really how we want to live?
I know you didn’t ask me but in my honest opinion, it’s not bliss in the grand scheme of things. Yet knowing and gaining wisdom, can make much of life difficult to bear at times. You come to understand matters from God’s perspective and in seeing the world that way can grieve your spirit.
Over the course of these two chapters in Ecclesiastes, Solomon describes the success that he attained. But even with reaping the success, he found it all to be futile. He compares all that he has successfully sought after to the pursuit of the wind. He extends permission to enjoy our blessings but suggests that doing so apart from God is empty. (Ecc 2:24-26 CSB)
Please do not misconstrue my message here. Life is short. We should absolutely enjoy it to its fullest. I personally want to enjoy all of the fruit of my labor but I would much prefer to enjoy it as I walk with God. I prefer to walk towards His truth rather than sit in complete ignorance of the world.
I certainly don’t know everything there is to know about life or God for that matter. He’s much too big. And although I cannot take anything with me when I leave this earth, I still want that invaluable wisdom from God.
Despite any loss that I have experienced in the last several years, I am certain that there is only one way for me to continue on this journey we call life. With God.
If you have ever ventured over to the About Page on this site, then you already know the purpose of Joi Beyond The World. But if you haven’t, please know that my desire is to provide spiritual encouragement from the Word of God.
With that said it’s imperative that I not leave you with what feels like such a somber note.
Here are ten scriptures* offering truthful encouragement that have helped me along the way. I pray that they will encourage you as you walk with God.
- Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. ~ Isaiah 43:19
- The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit. ~ Psalms 34:18
- You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. ~ John 8:32, 36
- The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected. ~ Proverbs 18:10
- You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures. ~ Psalms 16:11
- For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thought than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:9
- My word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do. ~ Isaiah 55:11
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. ~ Proverbs 3:5
- But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. ~ Matthew 6:33
- God is not a man, that he might lie, or a son of man, that he might change his mind. Does he speak and not act or promise and not fulfill? ~ Numbers 23:19
*All passages are from the Christian Standard Bible translation