There is so much unhappiness in the world today. A study from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention shows that 121 Americans commit suicide every day. And this is one of the many reasons why I started this blog – I want to spread happiness, optimism, and joy. I want everyone to have a cheerful heart:
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
Put a Smile on Your Face, Make the World a Better Place
If you’re a 90’s kid, you remember this song. And I’m sure all you really remember is the very catchy chorus, but the verses are actually pretty relatable:
When you wake up in the evening and the day is shot
Find yourself complaining about the things you ain’t got
Never goes just the way you want it to
Cliché of the day, “c’est la vie”, that’s just life
It ain’t easy, it’s so tough, it ain’t easy
Okay, maybe it’s more corny than relatable – but you get the point.
Cheerful means to be “noticeably happy and optimistic” or “causing happiness by its nature or appearance.” So, this leads me to ask: do you look cheerful?
“A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.” Proverbs 15:13
I don’t know about you, but I regularly have to make a conscious effort at how my face looks. If not, I look like I’m mad at the world! But this verse reminds me that your outward appearance is reflective of how you’re feeling on the inside.
There are health benefits
Did you know there are health benefits to smiling? According to an article in Healthhub by the SunWarrior, some of the benefits include:
- Reduced stress
- Better mood
- Encouraged trust
- Increased productivity
As I mentioned in my last devotional post, the Hebrew translation of “medicine” in Proverbs 17:22 is healing. This leads me to believe that there are health benefits to not just smiling but happiness overall. In fact, happiness adds 7 to 8 years to our lives. So, now the question is, where do you find your happiness?
In Christ Alone
There is a lot I have to be thankful for. I have a wonderful, hilarious, loving, supportive husband who not only loves me but loves God. I have an adorable one year old who knows how to brighten my darkest day. But above all that, I have a Savior who loved me enough to die for me when I didn’t deserve it. And what He did for me – for all of us – is eternal! One of my all-time favorite songs is “In Christ Alone” because it perfectly articulates what Christ did for us and why we should find our hope, joy, and love in Him. I really tried to pull out just one verse as a sample, but it wouldn’t do it justice!
“In Christ alone, my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ, I stand.
In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ, I live.
There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave, He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ, I’ll stand.”
What About You?
This leads me to my main point. Where does your happiness come from? Is it in material things that will fade and people who will let you down or is it in your Savior Jesus Christ? I have found that when I’m grounded in the Lord, I have a glad heart (as mentioned in Proverbs 15:13) – it can be seen in the smile on my face and it is contagious to the people around me.
So how are you feeling today? Are you meditating on God’s blessings in your life or dwelling on the pains of the day? Try having a glad heart today and show the world what God has done for you. This, my friends, is why it’s important to be cheerful. Yes, we benefit from being happy but ultimately it is to spread God’s light so that when people ask you why you’re so happy you can tell them what Christ has done for you.