A Happy Heart

 

happy heart

(Guest Blogger: My Mom, Beth Smith)

My husband Bert and I were on a bus tour once and, as folks do on such trips, we spent some time with other passengers getting acquainted. A common question was, “What do you do?” or “What did you do before you retired?”

One very personable man answered, “Well, I’m still employed. When I’m working, I wear a dress and sell the ultimate fire insurance.” And what do you suppose was his line of work? He was an Episcopal priest!

Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Jesus also tells us in John, chapters 15 and 16, that the things he asks us to do are for this purpose – That our joy may be full. But how exactly do we go from having an anxious heart to having a glad heart? How do we get that fullness of joy?

For starters, we can remember that the most important reason for rejoicing, for having a happy heart, is our citizenship in heaven – bought for us by Jesus Christ.

Consider this newspaper ad: Lost Dog. Three legs. Blind in left eye. Missing right ear. Tail broken. Answers to the name “Lucky.”

Even when we seem to be in as bad a shape as that dog, we don’t live by luck. We live by faith–faith in the God of the Universe, faith in the God who can do all things. That faith produces a glad heart regardless of circumstances.

What are the characteristics of a glad or merry heart? Let me suggest four.

  • Such a heart is full of forgiveness, forgiveness received from God for sin and given quickly to everyone else. No heart full of resentment and unforgiveness can be happy.
  • A happy heart regularly and sincerely counts blessings and thanks God for them.
  • A glad and merry heart is full of trust. It knows God is in control and allows him to lead.
  • And such a heart is also quick to obey. I’m praying that this will be a week when we can go from managing a smile, to laughter and on to a really hearty healthy belly laugh coming from a glad heart. No, laughter won’t get us a job, heal a marriage, or solve any of the problems we face. Nevertheless, we can have a happy heart with God’s blessing. No matter what our circumstances, he wants us to be full of joy.

No heart is perfect, but aiming toward forgiveness, thankfulness, trust and obedience will put us on the right path to the glad and merry hearts God offers us.

I’m praying that this will be a week when we can go from managing a smile, to laughter and on to a really hearty healthy belly laugh coming from a glad heart. No, laughter won’t get us a job, heal a marriage, or solve any of the problems we face. Nevertheless, we can have a happy heart with God’s blessing. No matter what our circumstances, he wants us to be full of joy.

 

 

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