Wisdom In Seeking Joy

Wisdom In Seeking Joy

Sister Miki Terayama - 28 November 2021

Weekend Devotion: Wisdom In Seeking Joy

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We are all hard seekers of joy. Whichever character or nature we have, we all seek joy in one form or another. Some are really thrill seekers, wanderlusters, while others can find joy in little things like sipping a cup of coffee and unwinding in nature. However, there are often times we are so focused on finding our joys that we dive in too quickly, too boundlessly and even at times, too invested in it, without really giving ourselves space to think what we are getting our whole mindset and emotions into or the effects of it after.

I used to be someone that is very fast to agree with my friend’s meet-ups and activities because there are always some fun plans involved like cafe hopping, going to some new shop, picnic or art jamming. But when I agree to these, I neglect careful consideration of the implications it might have. Like planning how to manage certain things at home before I head out, going home too late and affecting my work progress the morning after, or even being too tired during church service the next day to receive the message.

In other words, surely God wants to grant us joy, but when our desires, decisions and pace are too quick, we may instead of finding joy, receive other unnecessary baggages along with it. So what I am saying is that we need to pace ourselves. When we pace ourselves with careful spiritual discernment before diving excitedly into our joyful endeavours, we will have wisdom in all things we do.

Wisdom first, then Joy.

In Proverbs 3:13, it says “Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.” It is true that we can find joy in some tangible things or satisfaction in some situations. However, when we receive joy by first finding wisdom in God’s guidance, the joy we get is an even more assured, lasting and a deeper one. If not, what we get is just a fleeting moment or a good feeling. But how do we gain this wisdom? We can learn about this from a person with great experience, that is Solomon. Solomon has lived part of his life, grasping the sweet possessions, experiences, power and pleasure, apart from God’s wisdom. He was the guy that “had it all”. Yet, he knew better the bitterness of living and acting without turning to and pacing ourselves before the Lord. In Ecclesiastes 2:10-11, Solomon said “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” With the wisdom God had given him, he reflected with humility, repentance and clarity of the life he led. And here, he reminds us to seek joy by first restoring spiritual wisdom to find and know eternal values over temporal delights, what is fertile in spirit over what is futile in flesh. So let us commit and direct our definition of joy in its proper place today.

Wisdom only from God.

Now as we talk about wisdom, we must be careful that the wisdom we want to gain here is from God and God alone. It is easy to fall into human wisdom at times like advices from people, our own experiences or what “experts” says. But human wisdom cannot contain all the answers and knowledge or education has its limits. So to understand life and make right choices, we need the wisdom that can only be found in God’s word. As Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 2:26 says, “God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please Him.” So to really gain wisdom from the Lord to please Him is to first get to know Him through His truth and honour Him with our life. When we really learn about God’s Word more and more, our eyes are opened with more wisdom to see evident imperfections in the seemingly perfect, and the evil in the seemingly good or vice versa. From here, we will internalise deeper where true joy can or cannot be found. So brothers and sisters, as we think about the things that bring us joy, let us look beyond our abilities or activities to the reasons we do them and the purpose they fulfil. Of course, the Lord gives us time for respite and leisure. But for the many things we decide to dive into, is our goal to merely search for joy and satisfaction or to search for the God who gives joy and satisfaction? As Solomon describes the many attempts of finding joy and pleasures in his life as “chasing after the wind”, let us also take time to consider, where we place our time, energy and resources. Will we one day look back and decide that these too, were like “chasing after the wind”? Or will we find relief in knowing that we have struggled and been wayward, but sought the Lord over and over for guidance?

Brothers and sisters, we are created in God’s image and because of that, God has set eternity on our hearts such that we cannot merely find contentment in earthly things. So instead of being fast-paced in seeking the pleasures of life, let us be fast-paced in challenging our thoughts of what is defined as joy in each season. And from there, grow spiritual thirst instead, for gaining wisdom through God’s way. Because that in turn, will give you a joy that is truly worth chasing after. God bless.

Miki Terayama

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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