How many times does God make this clear in the Bible?
At our Pastor's Fellowship yesterday, Pastor Teal spoke about Ecclesiastes. He gave the biblical context - of poetry and wisdom - that emphasizes the contrast between the "Way of the Tree and the Way of Chaff," or "The Wise and the Otherwise," or the "God Way and the No God Way."
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon explores the "Way of Chaff," and finds that it is futile. Everything under the sun is futile. We do not know what God will do or how God will work in our lives over time. Sometimes bad behavior brings trouble - but sometimes not. Sometimes righteous behavior brings good things, but sometimes not. All effort and planning under the sun is somewhat presumptuous.
But this is God's blessing - because when you realize this, you are driven to God and a hope for eternity that rests in Him.
We should choose the way of righteousness - not because it frees us from the uncertainties of this world or allows us to establish heaven on earth. We choose the way of righteousness because we come to know the Savior - Jesus Christ - and we desire to please Him. Our rewards will not be in this world - but in the eternal heavenly world.
So lay up treasures for yourselves in heaven... Remember that God will turn this world on its ear and undermine every presumption of men.
(James 4:10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
(1Peter 5:6-7) Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.