“WISDOM OF LIVING (9): A CHEERFUL HEART”
Proverbs 17:22; Phil. 4:4-9. By Pastor YAU
INTRODUCTION: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” These are the words of King Solomon written many thousands of years ago. Today, medical research reports verify the value of this saying: a cheerful heart is helpful in keeping good health and a sad or negative spirit hurts the body and slows down healing processes. Many common health problems such as sleepless night, indigestion, poor circulation, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats and many others, have to do with emotional condition of the person. Those who have chronic emotional problems have higher chances of getting sick, and their recovery time will be longer than others.
ARE YOU CHEERFUL OR SAD? The following are some of the symptoms many people of sad spirit may have in common:
1) Anxious or worry: fear of what future may hold.
2) Doubt: self worth or ability in handling life or duties.
3) Angry: toward self, others or environment.
4) Feeling hopeless and helpless. Live in “confinement”.
5) Jealous on others and feeling unfair.
6) Depressed: constant heavy-hearted and feeling sick.
7) Lazy or unmotivated. Lost interest in people, job and environment.
Psychologists identified “emotional patterns” in people’s mindset. Two different persons, facing similar situation, may have different responses. One may be cheerful while the other may be sad or crushed. It is your OUTLOOK of life that determines your response. We can do little to change what is coming to us. But we can condition us to respond in different way.
BIBLICAL FORMULA FOR A CHEERFUL HEART: While it may be impossible to list all formulas to make you cheerful, here are some steps from Phil. 4:4-9, you may try.
1) Cheer is YOUR choice: (4:4) Paul used a command to call on people to be cheerful, not an option. It is your choice to be cheerful regardless of what happens to you. You cannot depend on others to make you cheerful.
2) Be moderate, gracious and humble. (4:5) Live your life in moderation. Be gracious to others and have a humble attitude about yourself.
3) Trusting God to take care things: (4:6-7) When face with things, people or condition beyond your control or ability, leave them to God and trust His power.
4) Keeping virtuous thoughts at all times: (4:8) Fill your heart and mind with good and decent thoughts, virtues and happy memories. Remember good deeds, love and cheerful experiences of yourself and others.
5) Learn from good examples: (4:9) See good things in others and learn from them. Desire to improve and advance to a higher level of virtues and ability.
BEGIN YOUR DAY WITH THE FOLLOWING:
1) Trust your day to the Lord: “God’s love and compassions never fail. They are new every morning.” (Lamentation 3:22-23) Believing in Him that He will lead your way and supply sufficient strength for the day.
2) Start your day with purpose and passion: “I forgetting what is behind and strain forward, press on toward the goal to win the prize.” Phil. 3:13-14) Aiming to accomplish something meaningful and important, things that you feel good.
3) Quit a bad habit: Things like watching late night shows, eat too much, lazy to get up in the morning, being late to school or work, indecent thoughts, etc “If anyone who is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.” (II Corinthians 5:17)
4) Finish your share of duty: Things you need to do today don’t drag till tomorrow. Finish your duties with honor and feel the sense of accomplishment. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4:7)
5) Do something good to others: Make a call, write a card and send an email to express your gratitude for things others did for you. Volunteer at some needy places for some needy people. Don’t just care about yourself. “Each of you should look not just your own interest, but also to the interests of others.” (Phil. 2:4)
WHAT CAN A CHEERFUL HEART DO?
1) A cheerful heart brings you better feeling, healthier body, clearer mind and better sleep at night. It brings you more energy and positive attitude to everything around you.
2) A cheerful heart may bring more sunshine and warmth to people around you. It may draw you closer to others, make more friends and you will never feel lonely.
3) A cheerful heart sees the positive side of people and things. It sees the bright side of a problem. It stimulates your power of deliberation and determination. You are closer to success.
4) A cheerful heart directs you to be more thankful to God and others for things they do for you. You are less incline to complaint but more to be thankful. Counting all the blessings instead of misfortune. You will bring more glory to God.
5) A cheerful heart will energize you to be more eager to participate in service in God’s work, more willing to give, easier to make friends, more able to solve problems instead of creating problems.
CONCLUSION: When Paul said, “Rejoice IN THE LORD”, he encouraged us to rest in the LORD, the source of our joy or cheer. Jesus made it clear that in HIM we have peace when he said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)