“I am tired of living in a way that looks exactly like people who don’t have the Holy Spirit of God living in them.” Francis Chan, Forgotten God
And this, too, is a very serious problem. People leave this world no better off than when they came. All their hard work is for nothing—like working for the wind. Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud— frustrated, discouraged, and angry. Ecc. 5:16-17
Does that describe you? Are you living a life under a cloud of frustration, discouragement and anger? Do you feel like the Spirit of God isn’t present within you? Remember what Jesus promised in John 10:10, “a rich and satisfying life.” Which description fits you?
Why are we leading lives that are characterized by negative emotions instead of the abundance that Jesus promised? Solomon answers that question in Ecc. 2:1-8. All the stuff we are striving for is meaningless. The book of Ecclesiastes is a major indictment of the American dream. All the stuff our culture and society says that matter actually means nothing.
I went to college. I got a degree. Graduated top in my class. I work at my dream job. I met a fabulous guy. I married him. We bought a fantastic house in a great neighborhood. I had babies. I loved decorating, shopping, and play dates. I even got to keep my job. Guess what? It means nothing. (Modern Woman’s perspective of Ecc. 2:4-8)
If you are frustrated, discouraged or angry your joy will never come from a career move, a reformed husband or better disciplined children. Circumstances of life will never give birth to joy. True, unshakable joy comes from the true joy-giver, Jesus Christ.
One of the most important prophesies that Jesus fulfilled was Isaiah’s from chapter 61. Isaiah said that the Messiah would bring good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted and set the captive free. Read from Luke 4:14-21:
Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about him spread quickly through the whole region. He taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see,that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”
That’s a cool story, but don’t pass up its message too quickly. Let that penetrate your heart and understand that this prophesy has deep meaning for YOU. Your frustration, discouragement and anger are coming from something that is holding you captive and keeping you oppressed. Maybe it’s your food addiction, your need for control, your secret keeping, hiding from your past… whatever it is. There is something that is holding you back. Know this- Jesus destroyed it already. You are living under the power of an impotent enemy.
“Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.” Mark 3:27
Jesus declared his power and His strength over Satan. Jesus entered his house, tied him up, and plundered his house… for you. Jesus released you from your chains of frustration, discouragement and anger. Today resolve that you will believe that truth and walk in its freedom.