Summary: Preaching the truth seems to always cause trouble because some people don’t want to listen to it or believe it. Paul experienced two difficulties in this text. 1- The difficulty of being misunderstood 2- The difficulty of being hassled
Eccl. 2:22-23 "What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless."
WHAT JUST A MINUTE! Life doesn’t sound so good according to these verses of scripture!
The truth is that life IS full of trouble and difficulty! As some have said, "If it isn’t one thing, it’s something else." It seems almost every day we’re hit with some new problem or difficulty.
ILL. - Mark Twain said, "December is the toughest month of the year. Others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, October, August, and February." EVERY MONTH IS TOUGH OR CAN BE!
ILL.- I heard about a little boy sitting on his front steps with his face cradled in his hands, looking so very sad. His dad came home just then and asked him what was wrong. The little boy looked up and said, "Well, just between us, Dad, I’m having trouble getting along with your wife, too!"
ILL.- Jimmy Carter once said, "I have often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can’t get my wife to go swimming.”
ILL.- Summer vacation was over and Little Johnny returned back to school. Only two days later his teacher phoned his mother to tell her that he was misbehaving.
"Wait a minute," she said. "I had Johnny with me for three months and I never called you once when he misbehaved!"
ILL.- A man in a hurry taking his eight-year-old son to school made a turn at a red light where it was prohibited. "Uh-oh, I think I just made an illegal turn!" the man said. "It’s okay, Dad," the boy said, "The police car right behind us did the same thing."
Sometimes it’s trouble at home or school and sometimes it’s trouble at work or perhaps anywhere out in the world.
ILL.- A friend asked Prime Minister Lloyd George during WWI, "How do you manage to keep yourself together with all this work and worry?" George replied, "Oh, with me a change of trouble is as good as a vacation." That’s a good way to look at it.
Some people seem to have so many troubles that anything different is a welcome change.
ILL.- Someone said, “Troubles are like babies - they only grow by nursing.”
Sometimes we make our troubles worse by nursing them, that is, by dwelling on them all the time. Some people can’t leave their troubles alone. It’s like picking at a sore on your arm, which only makes it worse.
ILL.- A nurse in one of the great London hospitals complained to Bishop Taylor Smith that she had been rudely treated by some of the patients.
“Thank God for that!” he said.
“What do you mean?” asked the astonished nurse.
“Why,” said the Bishop, “if you are carrying a vessel and somebody knocks up against you, you can only spill out of the vessel what is inside. And when people misjudge and persecute us, we can only spill what is inside.”
If people give us trouble in this life it may be for this very reason; because we have something special on the inside! If you have the Lord living within you some people will give you trouble in this life, because at the same time the evil one is at work in others! AND WE SHOULD NOT BE SURPRISED!