Does the sum total of our purchases actually produce happiness? We are assured by the marketing teams of the titans of industry that if only we will use this or that product, our lives will be enhanced, we'll be popular, we'll gain peace of mind or even bring our families and communities closer together. But does it actually work?
Every year since 1945, studies have been made and polls conducted to determine whether Americans are happy or not and the results have been fascinating. Apparently, our satisfaction peaked somewhere around the 1950s and has continuously declined ever since. That's right – in spite of the fact that our material abundance has exponentially grown, our spirits have steadily flagged. We have conducted a large-scale, long-term experiment to determine if riches bring happiness and then completely ignored the obvious answer that they do not! Whatever else our consumer-driven market economy can claim, fulfillment of the human spirit is not one of those claims.
The Teacher wrote: "Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness! The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what is the advantage of wealth—except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers!"
What an image Genesis 1:1-5 gives us of the human soul! Without God, we are empty; our hearts a formless mass, cloaked in darkness. Only when the Spirit of God hovers over our spirits can we know any true hope. When that void, under the prompting of the Holy Spirit, by faith submits to God's mighty hand, suddenly light explodes upon the scene!
Elohim is truly named well! The Strong One; almighty, infinite and omnipotent is He! Only by turning our broken lives over to Him can we find restoration. Only when we submit to His will can we find peace in the midst of our circumstances. If He is capable of creating the universe ex nihilo, out of nothing, what is He capable of creating out of our nothingness?
One last thing, notice that the light was separated from the darkness. We cannot expect God to bring us into the kingdom of light and then let us continue living in the darkness whenever we like. Once we have been recreated as children of light, then we must dedicate ourselves to shining. We must live so that other formless, void, empty and dark souls can also find God's light.
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