The American Dream is Meaningless Without Jesus
ECCLESIASTES 1:12 – 2:26
The American Dream is Meaningless without Jesus


Declaration of Independence

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”


Unhappy Business… (Ecclesiastes 1:12-18)

PLEASURE (2:1-11)

  • Laughter, Wine, Great Works, Possessions, Money, Sex, Whatever Desired
  • Conclusion: “Then I considered all that I had done and behold, vanity and a striving after the wind. I gained nothing” (Ecc. 2:11)

WISDOM (2:12-17)

  • Meditate on wisdom, foolishness, and crazy…
  • Conclusion: : “I said in my heart that it also is vanity” (Ecc. 2:15).

WORK (2:18-23)

  • “I hated all my work…” (Ecc. 2:18)
  • Conclusion: “This also is vanity and a great evil… even at night work frustrates him…” (Ecc. 2:21)

“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil . This also, i saw is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment” (Ecc. 2:24-25).


  • “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the holy spirit” (Romans 15:13).


  • “The fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10) NLT


  • “Whatever you do, work with all your heart as to the Lord and not for people.” (Colossians 3:23)


  • What do enjoyment and pleasure look like in relationship and in submission to Jesus?
  • What does your search for wisdom look like in relationship and in submission to Jesus?
  • What does work looking like in relationship and in submission to Jesus?


  1. What do you and the people around you think is necessary to be truly happy?
  2. Why do we continue to think possessing more than we have right now will make us happy when we are not happy with what we have?
  3. Why do pleasurable experiences and the accumulation of money and things not ultimately satisfy?
  4. In what practical ways does a life of wisdom make more sense than a life of foolishness? If this life is all there is, think through how those advantages are canceled.
  5. Why do most of us kill ourselves to succeed in work despite the Bible’s repeated warnings that we do not get to take our stuff with us when we die?
  6. Were you given the impression growing up in church that pleasure was to be avoided? Why do you think that was what you were taught?
  7. What do we often think we need to do for God to be pleased with us? What does the Bible say is the path to God’s pleasure?
  8. What are some ways we use pleasure, possessions, relationships, and work in ways God did not design?
  9. What are some ways we can enjoy pleasure, possessions, relationships, and work in ways God did design?
  10. How can we fight against finding satisfaction in created things and instead find it in God alone?