This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happinessEcclesiastes 2:24b-26a
The true message of this book is that enjoyment is a gift of God. There is nothing in possessions, in material goods, in money; there is nothing in people themselves that can enable them to keep enjoying the things they do. But it is possible to have enjoyment all your life if you take it from the hand of God. It is given to those who please God.
Wisdom and knowledge have been mentioned before as things you can get from
under the sun, but they will not continue. To have added to them the ingredient of pleasure, of continual delight unceasing throughout the whole of life, you must take it from the hand of God. The person who pleases God is given the gift of joy.
It is wonderful to realize that this book teaches us that God wants us to have joy. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul said,
[He] richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment (1 Timothy 6:17). It is God's desire and intent that all the good things of life that are mentioned here should contribute to people's enjoyment; but only, says this Searcher, if you understand that enjoyment does not come from things or people. It is an added gift of God, and only those who please God can find it.
How do you please God? In many places in Scripture we are told that without faith it is impossible to please God. It is faith that pleases Him, belief that He is there and that everything in life comes from His hand. Underscore in your minds the word all. Pain, sorrow, bereavement, disappointment, as well as gladness, happiness, and joy—all these things are gifts of God. When we see life in those terms, any and every element of life can have its measure of joy—even sorrow, pain, and grief. These things were given to us to enjoy.
This is also the message of Romans 8:28:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. It is also the message of Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Father, all things come from Your hands. I thank You that You sent Your Son that I might have Your joy within me.
Shall we choose to live each day as grateful receivers, acknowledging every good gift as God's provision? Have we seen His intent for joy in all we experience?