For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart. Ecclesiastes 5:20 (ESV)
I read this scripture, smiled broadly, and prayed that God would occupy our hearts continually with His Joy.
In life there are so may things trying to occupy our hearts which is why we are encouraged to guard our hearts diligently. However Solomon on reflecting on the vanity of life and the good things which come to us as a gift from God then makes this awesome statement about God occupying or making our hearts so busy and active with Joy that this is the significant thing we remember about our life.
Joy seems to be something we need to find again because in the business of life and all that it entails our hearts can sometimes be occupied with anxiety, worries, fear and unbelief – all of which are not from God. Joy comes from the word of God and as you meditate on it you need to allow the joy that comes from the knowledge of who God is and what God has done for you to be greater in you than any external circumstances of life. Jeremiah in the midst of all the destruction that was going on in Israel said in Jeremiah 15:16, ‘Your words were found, and I ate them; and Your words were to me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.’ With everything going wrong in Habakkuk’s external world he had a different perspective of his God and therefore said in Habakkuk 3:18-19,’Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation! The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!’
Joy is as a result of what God has already done for you, what you can see from the word of God through all that is happening around you. It is a result of something you know deeply which is that no matter what comes your way, God has promised in 2 Cor 2:14 that you will always triumph in Christ. He said, “Now thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in Christ..’ If you can see through your situation to triumphant victory, knowing the word triumph also means to win, to prevail and to succeed, and you can establish this in your life by speaking it no matter what, then you can rejoice (even if you have to do it in faith!). Paul said in Philippians 4:4, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!’ James also said to consider it all joy when trials and temptations come knowing that ultimately it ends up with you being perfect and complete lacking nothing.
There is strength from God in Joy that originates from the word of God based on what we believe and not based on things we see that we know is all subject to change. This kind of joy is defined as dancing or leaping for joy, it means to spin around with intense emotion. So no matter what you are dealing with today take some time out to spin around and rejoice in the Lord your God.
Lord, occupy my heart permanently with Joy for when Joy is firmly established in my heart, then there is no space for anything else.