Joy Is My Job

Jon Burgess


“They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.” Ecclesiastes‬ ‭5:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬


In the middle of his cynical diatribe on the meaninglessness of life, King Solomon shares a truth that grabbed me this morning and won't let go. Perhaps because of the darkness of his prose this verse felt like a ray of sunlight breaking through the clouds. At the end of his life King Solomon looks back and realizes he was discontent when he should have been delightfully content. Rather then accepting what God had given him he was accumulating more. Rather then savoring the the flavors of the day he was soured by the notion that there was still more to taste. He realized too late that he was occupied by self-centered pursuits rather then surrendered to the occupation His God had assigned to Him! His job was joy. He was called to give God glory by enjoying Him and all He had lavished upon him. Instead of relishing the love of His God he now sat shriveled and cynical at the thought of all he was too busy to enjoy around him.


I really like the Westminster Catechism. It captures exactly what King Solomon is talking about here! "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever." Now the lesson of Solomon is one that I desperately need to hear for I am a driven man. I love what's happening but am constantly moving on to the next big thing. I have a lot of job responsibilities but God is making clear to me that at the top of them all, in the middle of it all, when I feel under it all, my job is joy! Solomon is talking in the context of enjoying all Gods gifts. This is especially challenging to do when we feel that what God is giving us is the opposite of what we asked for. Sometimes it feels that rather then giving us hope as an anchor for our soul we've been handed an anvil while treading deep waters. This is certainly how Margret Feinberg felt when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. At Foursquare Convention this past week I was brought to tears as she described how she fought back with joy. She described herself going into an MRI machine being told to remain completely motionless while completely isolated with fear running through her mind of what they might find. Then, in a point of revelation she asked herself, "has anyone praised God from this exact latitude and longitude today? Has anyone claimed the goodness of God from this square inch of space completely surrounded by humming machines and cold metal? I'm going to choose joy when it makes no sense! I'm going to praise God from right here right now!" My job is joy today! Whether everything is great and glorious or going down the toilet with a mighty flush I'm choosing joy!


I don't want to look back at the days of my life and find that I was so consumed with "what's next" that I missed "what's now". I don't want to get really good at distorting reality, I want to find Your raw and wild joy in the middle of it! Your joy is my strength. The enemy of my soul doesn't have to attack me, he just has to keep me busy. Then, instead of my job being joy, it becomes a pain that slowly wears down my resolve and steals the spring in my step. I may accomplish a lot, but will I have lost in the process if I lose joy? "Whatever may pass and whatever life's before me, let me be signing when the evening comes."-Matt Redman, 10,000 Reasons.

Devotions for June 07

Ecclesiastes 4,5,6
Psalms 18
Ephesians 3

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