For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. Ecclesiastes 2:26
Whenever someone is able to feel content with what they have, it’s a gift from God. God gives those who please him contentment without having to strive for it. God sees only two kinds of people: those who are faithful and those who are sinners. Besides the gifts he gives to all people, God gives wisdom and discretion to the faithful. On top of that, he adds joy. The faithful are content with what they have and are not tormented by the same kind of thoughts and desires sinners have. They go about their business with joy and peace.
On the other hand, sinners are always troubled. They are preoccupied with gathering and storing up wealth, but they’re never satisfied. Even if they’ve been given wisdom and skill, so many difficulties are mixed in with these gifts that they feel more like punishment. Sinners don’t enjoy their work, whether it’s farming or building—even though others enjoy doing these things and find happiness in them. What sinners produce cannot be used in the right way by anyone except those who have God’s approval. So whatever sinners accumulate belongs to those who have God’s approval. The faithful know how to use God’s gifts with joy and thanksgiving, even when they have very little.
But sinners don’t even use what they have, in spite of all the trouble they go through to accumulate their possessions. In the end, faithful people truly own the whole world because they enjoy it with happiness and contentment. Even when they possess a lot, sinners have nothing. That’s how pointless their lives are.
The Bondage of the Will, Luther’s exposition on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, laid the groundwork for Reformation thought. It shows us a humbling view of ourselves while strengthening our faith in Christ.
The Ambassador Classics series brings the greatest classic works of Christian history into a single set. It includes unabridged works by Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Calvin, A. T. Pierson, John Owens, C. H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, J. C. Ryle, R. A. Torrey and many others. This series will continue to enrich and deepen your faith in Christ.