July 5, 2024
Joy

Reading

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 - 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.

Summary

In Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, the Preacher reflects on the fleeting nature of life and the importance of finding joy and contentment in the work God has given us to do. He observes that it is good and fitting for a person to eat, drink, and find enjoyment in their labor during the few days of life that God has granted them under the sun. This, he says, is their lot in life. The Preacher also notes that for those to whom God has given wealth, possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, this too is a gift from God. They should accept their lot in life and rejoice in their work, seeing it as coming from God's hand. The key, according to the Preacher, is that God keeps the person occupied with joy in their heart. When God fills our hearts with His joy, we are less likely to dwell on the brevity and apparent meaninglessness of life. Instead, we can be content with each day, knowing that God is the giver of all good things. This passage encourages us to have a proper perspective on work, wealth and the fleeting nature of life. Rather than striving after meaning in temporal things, we are to look to God as the source of joy and contentment. When we see each day and the work it contains as a gift from Him, we can rejoice and be satisfied, even in the midst of life's toil and troubles. For the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Reflection

The words of the Preacher in Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 serve as a poignant reminder of what truly matters in life. In a world that often glorifies the pursuit of wealth, success and significance, this passage calls us back to a simple yet profound truth - true joy and contentment are found not in what we accumulate or achieve, but in recognizing each day as a gift from God and finding enjoyment in the work He has given us to do. It's easy to get caught up in the rat race of life, constantly striving for more and better, only to find that it leaves us feeling empty and unfulfilled. We can work tirelessly to build wealth and gain possessions, but in the end, as the Preacher observes, this too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Instead, Ecclesiastes encourages us to take a step back and see life from God's perspective. Each day is a precious gift from Him, an opportunity to find joy and satisfaction in the simple things - food and drink, labor and toil. When we view our work, not as a necessary evil or means to an end, but as part of God's good plan for our lives, it changes everything. No longer is it a drudgery to be endured, but a way to worship and serve the Lord. Of course, this doesn't mean that life will always be easy or that we will never face hardship or pain. The Preacher is realistic about the brevity and challenges of life under the sun. But he also recognizes that for the person who fears God, there is hope and purpose even in the midst of difficulty. When we trust in the Lord and allow Him to fill our hearts with His joy, we are less likely to be overwhelmed by life's troubles. We can face each day with confidence, knowing that our lives are in His hands. So let us take to heart the words of Ecclesiastes 5 and make it our aim to find joy in the everyday blessings God has given us. May we learn to be content with what we have, recognizing that true abundance comes not from what we possess but from the presence of God in our lives. And may we view our work, whether paid or unpaid, as an opportunity to glorify God and serve others, finding satisfaction in a job well done. As we do, we will discover that the joy of the Lord truly is our strength, sustaining us through both the good times and the bad. And we will be able to say with the Psalmist, "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).

Prayer

Heavenly Father, Thank You for the gift of each new day and for the work You have given me to do. Forgive me for the times I have grumbled or complained, failing to recognize Your good hand in every part of my life. Help me to find joy and contentment in You, knowing that You are the giver of all good things. Teach me to number my days and to make the most of every opportunity to serve and glorify You. May I view my labor not as a burden, but as a blessing, a chance to worship You and love others. Fill my heart with Your joy, Lord, that I may not be overwhelmed by life's troubles but find strength in Your presence. Thank You for the simple blessings of food and drink, work and rest. Help me to be grateful for all that You have provided and to hold loosely to the things of this world. May I find my satisfaction in You alone and trust You to provide for my needs as I seek first Your kingdom. In all things, may I remember that my life is a precious gift from You, to be used for Your glory and the good of others. Give me a heart that is quick to praise You and slow to complain. And may the joy of knowing and serving You be my strength all the days of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Generated Image(s)

Beneath the tree's embrace, Contentment finds its place. Basking in the golden light, Joy and peace take root, ignite.

Beneath the tree's embrace,
Contentment finds its place.
Basking in the golden light,
Joy and peace take root, ignite.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.