Experiencing the ‘JOYS OF LIFE’ everyday
July 11 Bible Reading: Ecclesiastes Chapters 7-9
"So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun" (Eccl. 8:15)
According to Solomon, there is nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be joyful – ordinary things in life. Every person on this earth can avail this enjoyment as he/she toils throughout the life that God has bestowed in this world. God does not want the impermanence of life to hinder our enjoyment of what He has given. God not only gives us all earthly blessings but also bestows the enjoyment of those blessings!
In the above passage, enjoyment can be equated to the godly cheerfulness of the heart which directly flows from gratitude for all that God provides for us in our lives. In the face of injustice, we still have to rejoice in this life. Our life is the gift of God, and we need to enjoy life while we can.
In contrast to the mad search for the meaning of all things is the contentment that a wise, loving God gives to those who will receive His gifts of enjoyment. This is one of the central themes of Ecclesiastes. The wicked person (the fool) decides that the best thing to do is to “eat, drink, and be merry” with no thought given to the living God. But the righteous person (the wise) can enjoy life while thinking of God and His good gifts.
A wise person acknowledges lack of knowledge in the ways in which God affects His sovereign purposes (3:11; Deut. 29:29; Isaiah 55:8). In the presence of such a lack of knowledge, the wise person commits everything to God and trusts God completely. In this context, the best way to approach life is to: enjoy the simple things of life—foods, drink, work, etc.; recognize God as the source of all benefits (James 1:17); and recognize that the good things from His hand are designed for our enjoyment.
It is true that there are many injustices (vv. 10–13) and mysteries (vv. 14–17) in this life. However, we should leave them with God and do what He calls us to do. We can experience the joys of life everyday if we do not make ourselves the most important person to be pleased. We need to put God first and serve others, and our lives will then become meaningful and joyful.
On a final note, even the simple act of breathing is more miraculous that anything that takes our breath away. The popular slogan: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breaths away” is misleading. We need to look for meaning in our breath taking moments, find meaning in every breath that we take and make each breath meaningful.