He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart. Ecclesiastes 5:20 (NIV)
“Occupied with gladness of heart” – does that not sound like a lovely way to live? Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to live in such a state, surrounded by those who also live in such a state? Perhaps we may not think this is for us or for anyone else we know – like it is some sort of pipe dream or some prosperity gospel - yet it remains totally possible for all because it is neither circumstantial nor is it costly (at least not to us). It is given freely and abundantly by our Savior as we fix our eyes and hearts upon Him – spending much time with Him in His Presence and at His feet - through prayer and through His Word. Taking captive our thoughts and making them obedient to Christ. When we are seldom alone with the Master, our faith will be shallow at best, polluted with doubts and fears with no joy, no hope, no eternal purpose, no peace. And that is certainly not the way God desires for any of us to live.
Jesus came for so much more than for merely our salvation – He seeks our transformation. We are to be a new creation. And “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did”, John tells us in 1 John 2:6. This is so we can point others to the Way, the Truth and the Life, which, of course, is Jesus. And He gives us the power to do this through the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who resides in every true believer in sweet Jesus – His power readily available for the weakest saint. We are to be much on our knees in prayer (or on our faces), and be much in the Word taking what we learn and applying it to our hearts which will eventually come out in our hands. This is the transformation He seeks – denial of self (in all four Gospels) so that He can live through us – freely and completely. Yet, we so often want to hold on too hard to our “Delilah’s’ robbing us of our best – remaining in the lowlands and not attaining to the heights. In doing so, we are the great losers. There are no words that can fully describe the holy calm of resting and leaning upon Jesus. He is the One Who keeps us in perfect peace amidst all the storms of life.
God tells us “No good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” He also states we are to “taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him...those who seek the Lord lack no good thing,” even in the midst of the direst and darkest of our circumstances. We can trust Him with our lives and with the lives of all that we hold dear. We live in a fallen and broken world and there will not be perfection here. Remember earth is not our home, heaven is and what we do here matters greatly there. Don’t sell yourself short – walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel for your own good and His glory. God will be no man’s debtor. Whatever meager sacrifice we may make in the here and now will not be worth comparing to what His faithful children will receive. Seek to hear a “well done good and faithful servant” as based on the authority of Scripture we will not regret it.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)