No matter what your lot in life, one always has hopes for something better. Most call that the search for happiness and most find ourselves prone to entertaining or even cherishing the thought of a better life and the possibilities of improving our opportunities.
It is also in living that we hope to make amends. Living is the hope of choosing and possessing eternal life.
Such are the passages in the Bible for one who is contemplating ending their life at their own hand. Life must be pretty messy for anyone to be in this state of mind – relationships turned bad, finances dried up and spiritually there is a distance too great for one to return to God. But if you are breathing, there is hope that things will get better. Too many people have built up on the ashes of failure – relationships get healed, health improves, finances are restored and the very mention of Jesus’ name brings the presence of God right into your life.
The sense of powerlessness and the inability to change things for the better puts God at a distance. With Him so far away from us, we cannot hope to either understand or be part of God’s influence in our world.
When Solomon mentions this in Ecclesiastes, he is really saying that hope in this life only lasts to the grave. I still remember my hopes – good health, falling in love, getting married, having children, finding a great job with enough pay to support my family and accomplishing a few ambitions along the way. But for the short time my life is on this earth, if these are my only hopes, then I am lost. For it is the hope of eternal life and then living that hope after my death that I realize my hope all along – to spend eternity with Jesus. Maybe Solomon was just trying to say that – maybe he wanted us to enjoy life, as difficult at that might be, but to not put our hope just in this one, short life. Enjoy it, yes, live it, yes, but to place our hope in Jesus so that when we die we can spend the rest of eternity with Him and live in the place He has prepared for us.
This is an evil in all that happens under the sun, that the same fate comes to everyone. Moreover, the hearts of all are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. But whoever is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no more reward, and even the memory of them is lost. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished; never again will they have any share in all that happens under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 9:3-6