In Pursuit of Joy

Ecclesiastes 11:9 “Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.”

Months ago I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine on the topic of joy and blessing. In the midst of trial and adversity this friend demonstrated wisdom and discernment when she spoke of the Lord’s desire to bless his children. This may seem obvious for many of you. But for some, this comes as a much-needed reminder and it is for those readers that I write this post. Often we are taught to busy ourselves with work – whether this is a career or our ministry lives. We can be enthralled with the pursuit of improving ourselves (reading more, working out, volunteering etc.). However, when we do these things without keeping our motives and hearts in the right place even our best pursuits can leave us feeling burned out or burdened.

As I was mulling these things over in my mind and thinking about my own fruitless pursuits of self-improvement, attempting to further my career and ministry life I found myself in the book of Ecclesiastes. The “Teacher” (or author) of this book time and time again reminds up of the meaninglessness of life and futility of our work. Yet, I began to see another challenge as I read – a challenge to enjoy the life given to me. Ecclesiastes 9:7 encourages us to enjoy life with a “happy heart” and that God approves of this. This does not mean we are to give up a pursuit of a godly life or the journey of sanctification.

God is pleased when we serve him and work for him but he doesn’t want us to forget to enjoy the life he has so graciously given us. We are his children who he is madly in love with. He wants to give us abundant blessings. So my challenge (or reminder) is to stop and enjoy life. What blessings has God put before you and me today? Did you get a chance to sit with the sun on your face? Read a book? Laugh with a friend? Take that class you’ve always wanted to try? Brothers and sisters, this life is short. Enjoy the blessings God has given to you. Just as it was Christmas morning, allow Him to shower you with his love and recognize these blessings as illustrations of his intense love for you.

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