Proverbs 15:13,15b. & 17:22a
Some of you may remember the comedian Ken Dodd, who at the time of writing, despite being in his eighties still has some tour dates booked. One of his well known songs is entitled ‘Happiness’ (Ken Dodd 1964). In the chorus he says that happiness is a great gift and he thanks God that he has been blessed with an ample share of it.
Let us remind ourselves of the definitions of happiness and cheerful. Cheerful is defined as being optimistic and happy and happy itself is defined as showing or feeling contentment or pleasure, which leads to the definition of happiness as the state of being happy!
How would you describe your own personal experience of them?
Currently what promotes these in your life?
If feeling happy and being cheerful are less evident in your life than you would hope for, at present, are there any steps that you could take to redress this?
Read these verses from Proverbs, in two or three different versions of the Bible and then choose one verse to meditate on.
Ask God to reveal to you more of what it means to have a cheerful heart.
Augustine of Hippo commented that if we are not happy or content with what we already have, then we are unlikely to be happy with those things/events that we wish for. In his opinion, “The happy life is this – to rejoice to thee, in thee and for thee.” (Confessions).
In Psalm 138:1 we read, “I will praise you O lord with all my heart.” I have discovered that one of the keys to maintaining a cheerful heart while successfully navigating troubled waters is praise and thanksgiving. This may not be our first thought or reaction in challenging times, but it does shift the focus from our challenges to God and releases his power, peace and provision into the situation.
Finally spend some time in praise and thanksgiving, in whichever way seems best for you to do today.