DAY #28 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with a song." Proverbs 15:15 MSG
NIV- "All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast."
NKJV - "All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast."
NLT - "For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast."
Let's look at cheerfulness vs being miserable; (cited from dictionary.com)
1. full of cheer; in good spirits: a cheerful person.
2. promoting or inducing cheer; pleasant; bright: cheerful surroundings.
3. characterized by or expressive of good spirits or cheerfulness: cheerful songs.
4. hearty or ungrudging: cheerful giving.
1. having a happy disposition; in good spirits
2. pleasantly bright; gladdening: a cheerful room
3. hearty; ungrudging; enthusiastic: cheerful help
"full of cheer," Meaning "elevating the spirits" is from mid-15c.
1. wretchedly unhappy, uneasy, or uncomfortable: miserable victims of war.
2. wretchedly poor; needy.
3. of wretched character or quality; contemptible: a miserable villain.
4. attended with or causing misery: a miserable existence.
5. manifesting misery.
6. worthy of pity; deplorable: a miserable failure.
early 15c., "full of misery, causing wretchedness" (of conditions), from O.Fr. miserable , from L. miserabilis "pitiable, lamentable," from miserari "to pity, lament," from miser "wretched." Of persons, "existing in a state of misery" it is attested from 1520s.
This is yet again another choice we have to make each and everyday, usually more than once a day. I know it's something I have to choose to do. Through temptations, trials, troubles, pains, discouragements, sadness, and other testings we need to show that we have the love & joy of God in our hearts. We do not want to 'manifest misery' as the definition above states. That one stuck out to me. 'Manifesting misery' as opposed to 'Elevating the spirits' - - why on earth would we choose to be grumpy or not cheerful??
We as Christians have an example to follow in the life of Jesus. He was tempted many times, yet He never sinned. But the temptations, trials, discouragements, etc were still apparent in His life. When we follow Christ's example, we then are a living example to others around us. Our cheerfulness (not just a flighty happiness, but a true joy bubbling out) is not just for us. Some people think, 'Who cares if I'm grumpy, that's my business...' -- yet your life is a extension of those around you. Think of people around you (family members, co-workers, friends, etc) -- when they are grumpy or in an attitude that is not pleasing, it makes you grumpy too. You begin to think differently of them, and may begin to judge them. We cannot let ourselves go to that level of misery. God has given us HIS joy. You are to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Who wants Jesus inside if all that comes out of you is anger, grumpiness or misery? People see those characteristics in the world enough, we need to start taking a stand CHOOSING CHEERFULNESS! Why do we let 'miserable' come in our lives? Through fits of temper, and frustrations... it's easy to be overwhelmed by the feelings inside. But we need to immediately give thoes feelings and thoughts over to the Father, so that He may begin the healing process. Through His peace, strength, love and joy and the other fruit of the Spirit, we may choose cheerfulness and be a light in this dark world. "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16 NIV)
We need to have a happy heart to have a happy face. "A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit." (Proverbs 15:13 - just a couple verses before today's verse)
May every thought, word and deed that we (me included) do today be glorifying to the Father. Now that's a BIG STEP... but remember the journey is not a lonely one. God the Father is protecting you, God the Son is interceding for you and God the Spirit is always with you guiding and directing your path (in thought, word and deed). CHOOSE JOY!
BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!