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Joy and Wisdom

Today's Devotional

I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Ecclesiastes 8:15

Sweetly fragrant cherry tree blossoms flood Japan with exquisite pale and vibrant pinks every spring, delighting the senses of residents and tourists alike. The short-lived nature of the blossoms cultivates a keen awareness in the Japanese to savor the beauty and scent while they linger: the very brevity of the experience heightens the poignancy of it. They call this deliberate enjoyment of something that will change quickly mono-no-aware.”

As humans, it’s understandable that we’d want to seek and prolong feelings of joy. Yet the reality that life is riddled with hardship means we must cultivate the ability to view both pain and pleasure through a lens of faith in a loving God. We needn’t be overly pessimistic, nor should we fashion ourselves an unrealistically sunny outlook on life.

The book of Ecclesiastes offers a helpful model for us. Though this book is sometimes thought to be a catalog of negative statements, the same King Solomon who wrote that “everything is meaningless” (1:2) also encouraged his readers to find joy in the simple things in life saying, “There is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad” (8:15).

Joy comes when we ask God to help us “know wisdom” and learn to observe “all that God has done” (vv. 16-17) in both beautiful seasons and in difficult ones (3:11-14; 7:13-14), knowing that neither is permanent on this side of heaven.

What kind of “season” are you currently in? How can you find joy in it?

Dear Father, thank You for being the source of beauty and joy in my life.


The author of Ecclesiastes, which scholars say is Solomon, identifies himself as “the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem” (Ecclesiastes 1:1). He shows us what life is like without God and how He must fit into it. The Teacher makes his observations on the unjust realities of life in a fallen world: “Good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good” (8:14 nlt). Instead of being weighed down by such unfairness, however, Solomon encourages us to enjoy life (3:22; 5:19; 9:9) so we “will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives [us] under the sun” (8:15 nlt). At the close of his book, the author reminds us: “When people live to be very old, let them rejoice in every day of life. But let them also remember there will be many dark days” (11:8 nlt).

By |2024-05-14T02:33:06-04:00May 14th, 2024|
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