Readers are familiar with our articles which bring hope for the future, especially for all those who walk with Him “by faith and not by sight”. Today, our focus is on THE CHEERFUL HEART. Consider for a moment, what is the opposite of a cheerful heart? You will agree with me that a cheerful heart is not the same as a sorrowful one. As Christians we have been called by Jesus to rejoice, even though we live in a chaotic world, to be a blessing for those who live around us.
What is a Cheerful Heart Like?
The Bible tells us that a cheerful heart is a good medicine. (Prov. 17:22)
The word “heart”, according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, occurs over one thousand times in the Bible, making it the most common anthropological term in the Scriptures. It denotes a person’s center for both physical and emotional-intellectual-moral activities; sometimes it is used figuratively for any inaccessible thing.
Jonathan Freeman affirms “people generally agree about what they mean by happiness. It is a positive, enduring state that consists of positive feelings including both peace of mind and active pleasures.”
What Is The Source Of Our Joy In The Heart?
Can we seek true joy in what we see, hear and feel, when everything around us appears so transient? No. According to the Bible, especially in I John 2:15, we are not to love the world where the cultural, economical, social and political system tends to turn people away from God.
Were going to discover the real source for joy in the Bible. In John 15:11, we see before Jesus left this world to rejoin His Father in Heaven, that He made a great promise to His followers. Hear what He said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that MY joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full. … (KJV).
Some may use words like, joyful, merry, happy, …etc. to express what is felt in the soul, and some consider that those who experience fun and laughter generally are those who are happy. However, without Jesus as Savior there can be no real, permanent joy. This can only happen when a sinner opens his heart to Jesus. An extraordinary change takes shape in our lives when we accept the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. Our sins are forgiven and the promise of eternal life is ours. We are reconciled to God through Jesus Christ; the Holy Spirit comes and indwells us. Since the Holy Ghost remains in us, He produces joy as one of the fruit of the Spirit. We read in Galatians 5:22,23
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”. In the context of chapter five, a clear contrast is drawn between fleshly sinful desires and the Spirit`s desires. A Christian is to live his life by faith, he is to please God and as such he will assess for himself if that same joy from God`s Spirit is indeed found in his heart.
Now even when we face troubled times, we can rejoice in the Lord. For example, in Acts 16, the apostle Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi. As they were worshipping the Lord, at midnight, an earthquake caused the prison doors to open, freeing them to pursue their gospel ministry even further.
How wonderful it would be for you who may be far from God to experience real joy by responding to the claims of Christ and receive the gospel. Oh, come to Jesus and you will experience a cheerful heart and be found among the names written in the book of life.