A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. – Proverbs 17:22
Max Lucado, in his book, The Great House of God, encourages us to always express the joy of the Lord in whatever we do. And what a difference it will make, not only in our lives, but in those around us. Here’s what he says:
“In any given Christian community there are two groups: those who are contagious in their joy and those who are cranky in their faith. They’ve both accepted Christ and are seeking Him, but for one their balloon has no helium. One is grateful, the other is grumpy. Both are saved. Both are heaven bound. But one sees the rainbow and the other sees the rain.”
So to which one do you relate? Now be honest. Are you contagious or cranky? Grateful or grumpy? Do you see the proverbial glass as “half full” or “half empty?”
I am convinced that if people would demonstrate more joy in their lives, those persistent ailments in their bodies would go away. Jesus made this bold statement to His disciples in regard to everything He taught them: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).
Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found:
Not in Unbelief – Voltaire, the French philosopher of the 18th century Enlightenment period, was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: “I wish I had never been born.”
Not in Pleasure – Lord Byron, a British poet and a leading figure in the 18th century romanticism period, lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: “The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone.”
Not in Money – Jay Gould, one of the first American millionaires, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.”
Not in Position and Fame – Lord Beaconsfield, better known as Benjamin Disraeli, was a British politician, a member of Parliament, but also had the distinction of being Britain’s only Jewish Prime Minister. He wrote: “Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.”
Not in Military Glory – Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent, before he said, “There are no more worlds to conquer.”*
Where then is real joy found? The answer is simple: in your relationship with Christ alone.
By the way, if you’ve gotten this far, the word “Grumplestiltskin” means a person who is being grumpy. Hope that doesn’t ever describe you. If it does, this joyful song will help a lot. - Maranatha!
* The Bible Friend, Turning Point, May 1993.