God created you to enjoy and for you to enjoy him.
God takes pleasure in His people. (Psalms 149, 147, and Jeremiah 9:23-24) God created and said, “It is good.” This does not mean he got it right. It is a word that means it is good and pleasing to him.
God wants you to enjoy the life he created you to live. Ecclesiastes is an entire book about enjoying life. Solomon tried to enjoy life in every way the world will tell you to enjoy life and found it all to be a “vanity of vanities.” In the end he concluded that the purpose of life is “to fear God and keep his commands.” He found that the enjoyment of life is found in the Creator, not the creation.
When the Creator, not the creation, become your source of joy then all of creation becomes a source of joy.
Romans 1:19-25 speaks clearly to the distortion that exists in all of us because of sin. We have exchanged the glory of the Creator and glorified the creation over Him. We desire to fulfill our God given appetites and desires in ways that dishonor the one who designed them within us. This is the very temptation that Eve struggled with. She saw the fruit was desirable before she ever tasted it. She made up her mind that it was good because she was deceived to believe that life would be better fulfilling her own desire instead of honoring the Lord. After eating of the forbidden fruit she and Adam were naked and ashamed causing them to hide from God. And we have been hiding ever since.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above.” God made life to have many seasons and all types of experiences. He designed us to desire food, physical intimacy, and relationships. The issue is that we begin to put expectations for joy in life on these experiences, people, and opportunities that they were not designed to have. The more defined the expectation the more difficult it is to enjoy the experience (or the person). The more you have decided what joy an experience or a person will cause in your life, the more difficult it becomes for that experience or person to be a joyous part of your life. The experience and the person are often not the problem. Your expectation is. For example, your spouse might miraculously become a much better spouse in your life if you simply dropped your unrealistic expectations.
I want to share a few Biblical perspectives and ideas found from Ecclesiastes that will hopefully help you know How To Enjoy Life by learning to enjoy your Creator.
A time for all things is different than time for everything.
You will experience highs and lows in life. Life is like that. It is what it is. The more you try to make time for everything, however, the less you have time for all things.
Embrace life don’t chase life.
Good times and hard times will come. Embrace life. The more you try to chase the good times in the midst of the reality of hard times the more hard times you face.
Live in it not for it.
You will experience many seasons in life. Live in them not for them. Wendy and I are in a great season with our kids. This summer we had the privilege of taking a once in a lifetime trip with them. Our kids are old enough to hike and mountain climb and bike with us now. It is great. We can enjoy them in ways we have not been able to in the past but we have enjoyed every season with them. If we begin to live for these moments we will miss out on the moments ahead when they move on. Don’t live for it. Live in it.
You will have time in life for all things, but you will never have time for everything. Stop trying to do it all.
People matter to us and for us. We matter to people and they matter to us. You need some conversations that are not about making decisions. We all need some gatherings that have no agendas. Everyone needs friends and friends have fun.
What makes you breaks you.
Whatever makes you joyful and gives you happiness is also the thing that most easily breaks it. If you are relying on your relationship to your spouse to make you happy, your spouse will break that happiness because no matter how wonderful they are they were not created to be the source of joy in your life. Your kids cannot be your source of joy. Your job cannot. Your money cannot. You cannot. Only your Creator has the potential to bear that burden.
Joy is a product in our life not of our life.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit not a fruit of circumstance. Joy is something God gives us no matter the season. Not something we were created to find depending on our season of life. If you lack joy ultimately you lack Jesus. You need more of him in your life.
Jesus “for the joy set before him endured the cross.” You are a part of that joy.
Love Jesus…and have fun.