Day 16

Enjoy Life Despite Death

from the Ecclesiastes reading plan


Ecclesiastes 9:1-18, Psalm 16:11, James 1:17

A day will come for all of us when we are separated from the ones we love most. This is heartbreaking. It was never meant to be this way. Death was not a part of the design specs of the garden of Eden, and this is why death affects us so deeply; our minds and hearts were not engineered to handle the effects of death. But God has wisdom for us, and through Solomon, has given counsel for navigating “the vapor” that is life under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:2–4).

King Solomon tells us to enjoy life while we’re living it. Plain, simple, to the point. We are to look at what God has given us—the blessings we acknowledge and everything we take for granted—and maximize our joy in those gifts from Him. We are to leverage them to care for His Church, and in the process, He makes us more aware of what we’ve been given: “The righteous, the wise, and their works are in God’s hands” (Ecclesiastes 9:1). Solomon tells us to savor our meals, to tell stories and clank our glasses with friends, looking into the eyes of our fellow image-bearers. Why? Because it won’t always be like this. These moments are fleeting, so grab them now.

Wisdom in this life involves more than just fighting sin; wisdom also means fully living the life God has given us. Because of Jesus’s death and rising, we realize it’s not unspiritual to enjoy life—it’s actually biblical—for the glory of God and for our good. Jesus defeating death shows us that God doesn’t ignore the beauties of physical human life; He redeems them. Therefore, we ought to enjoy them and give thanks for them in the moment, which is an act of those who are fully alive, “for the living know that they will die” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).

This does not mean that we can shirk our responsibilities in pursuit of our own personal pleasure and comfort—that’s worldliness. Disciples of Christ discover joy in the ordinariness of life. Today, resolve to be present and relish in what you have been given from God, enjoying and acknowledging “every good and perfect gift” from “the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows,” despite our circumstances (James 1:17).

Whatever you do in this life, do it all the way. Whatever it is that you’ve been called to do for work, family, church—do it with all your strength (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Life’s too fleeting for half-measures and good intentions. Both are ultimately empty acts, and Jesus came so that each of us “may have life and have it in abundance” (John 10:10). Love and live fully, laugh until you cry, embrace those around you. Enjoy life today, remembering that it is a vapor, but that in our God’s presence are abundant joys and eternal pleasures (Psalm 16:11).

Written by Jeff Medders

Post Comments (2)

2 thoughts on "Enjoy Life Despite Death"

  1. Bruce Brosch says:

    A very encouraging word from The Encouraging Word, thank you!

  2. Tim says:

    Ecclesiastes 9:11 is incredibly relatable during the events of 2020 when “time and chance happen to us all” as “an evil time suddenly falls on them.” We are all under the human condition. We need Jesus.

    As Dallas Willard said, if I had to describe Jesus in one word, it would be “relaxed.”

    In order to discover joy in the ordinariness of life and live fully with all of our strength we have to stop our anxious thoughts of the future. We have to stop workaholism, working as to earn God’s favor because “he already has accepted your works.” He is a loving Father that has blessed us with the enjoyment of life.

    Finally, our goal is not strength and the opportunity to be remembered, our goal is wisdom, humility and calmness.

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