Be Occupied with Joy

In the Book of ECCLESIASTES, we are told to how to have our hearts occupied with joy, but here in America, our world view is generally occupied with the lusts of the heart and the cares of this world.  We continually seek a bigger house, a newer car, a better job, better friends, new spouses, and the spotlight for our success at achieving the “American dream.”

We can see this in that the average American is moving every 5.9 years (and subsequently changing friends just as often), getting new cars every 4.3 years, changing jobs every 3.8 years, and getting new spouses every 8.2 years.  All the while we will be tweeting, snapping, updating, and hash tagging to our social media audiences for approval.

So, why do we have this burning lust for material acquisition and conquest?  Because our hearts are occupied with junk, not joy.

I believe the best place to look for a cure from this disease of desire, is to learn from the wisdom of Solomon in the Book of ECCLESIASTES.  In this book of the Bible, Solomon writes about his own personal experiences of having everything, and the feelings that left him with.

So what were his thoughts on having everything he ever wanted?  Being able to buy whatever he set his eyes on?  Having power and recognition and that were unmatched?

It was all vanity.  Vanity of vanities in fact.  Striving after the wind.  It brought no lasting satisfaction to his soul.

And yet, after all these endless verses about the fruitlessness of the pursuit of worldliness, he leaves us with these truths:

“Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.  Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil – this is the gift of God.  For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.”  -Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 ESV

Wow.  Want to be so occupied with joy in your heart today that you can’t even remember what yesterday was like?  I know I do!

So how do we do that?  How to we get to that point in our lives?  Is it by owning all the things we want?  Having that new car, job, house, or spouse?

Nope.  It come from the truth that lies within these verses.

He wants me to enjoy the day and the toil that He has prepared for me.  Indeed, as the Psalmist writes, “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

If I can learn to be content and enjoy with what He has planned for me, then it doesn’t matter what happens in my day, or what possessions I have or don’t have.  My day will be satisfying because I am walking in His will for my life.

Now the quest for more is over.  My soul is satisfied, my heart is full, and my joy is overwhelming.  Only God can work this within us, so let’s trust in Him for the good plans that He has for us today.

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