by J. Randal Matheny, editor
All the days of the afflicted are bad,
but one with a cheerful heart has a continual feast.
-Proverbs 15:15 NET
Of all the self-inflicted wounds, mental injuries resulting from negative thoughts vie for the worst.
The hand-ringers, the finger-pointers, the sourpusses, the chicken littles, all have one thing in common: their very own thoughts keep them from enjoying life, God, blessings and peace.
The afflicted in Proverbs 15:15 are those whose thoughts dwell on the bad, the negative, the anxious, the evil, the injustices of the world.
If they gain an inheritance, they worry about the taxes.
If they experience success, they get concerned about failure.
If they see someone else’s success, they suspect foul play.
The obstacle to most people’s joy is themselves.
The cheerful heart, on the other hand, is more a mindset than a personality.
Optimism is a learned trait.
And the Christian has more to be cheerful about than anyone.
A hope that can’t be stolen or corroded or devalued by economic downturns.
A precious faith because of the price paid for our redemption.
Unequaled love in the Cross and in the church.
Renewed strength for the rigors of the day.
Unquenchable joy independent of circumstances, inspired by the Spirit of God.
Brotherhood and fellowship that cover the globe.
Purpose as large as the heart of God, as wide as the world, as lasting as eternity.
Maybe you like dog days, Monday morning or holiday blues, raising rugs to see the dirt, sweating by watching the temperature rise, counting warts on noses or outdoing your neighbor’s complaints.
I want my feast to last beyond Christmas. I want presents that don’t go in the trash soon after the paper they’re wrapped in. I want decorations for my life that don’t get stored when the tree comes down. I want friendships that last more than a smile at a party.
So I choose cheer.
How to get cheer? Seek God, and think his thoughts, on things on high, on Christ as Lord and Savior, on lasting possessions, on eternal light and love and laughter.
Your Christmas will be merry and your new year happy because you decide they will be.
The editor is now on Twitter @jrmatheny and is also twittering for UPLift and Forthright Press.
Latest posts by J. Randal Matheny (see all)
- The big issue of fellowship - 2019-06-15
- What it means to be truly human, or the whole duty of man - 2019-06-10
- Jesus came within God’s timeline - 2019-06-02