So how can we maintain the cheerful heart the proverb writer talked about as we walk through a not so cheerful world? Here are a few recommendations that I think will help:
1. Limit your load
We were not designed by our Creator to carry life’s problems on our shoulders. Rather than carry them, the Bible tells us to cast them upon the Lord in prayer (1 Peter 5:7).
2. Live on the right side of life
Just as there are two sides of a coin, there are two sides in life – the bright side and the dark side. I’m not suggesting you stick your head in the sand and disconnect from reality. I am suggesting you choose to live on the sunny side of life, full of faith and optimism.
3. Learn how to think
In the classic, See You At The Top, Zig Ziglar talks about “garbage-dump thinking.” Wrong thinking can lead to all kinds of problems. Philippians 4:8 provides these guidelines for right thinking, “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”
4. Let go of the baggage of life
We all experience tough times and painful experiences. That’s life. Let go of any bitterness or hatred that may arise in your heart. These things are happiness killers. Realize that God is at work even in the bad things that happen to you. And trust Him to take what was meant for evil and turn it around for good (Genesis 50:20).
5. Look to Jesus
The Hebrew writer told us to run the race of life looking always to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Keeping your eyes on Him is the strategy that wins. Remember, His joy is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
Apply these spiritual disciplines, and may God bless you with a cheerful heart. It’s good medicine. It’s just what the doctor ordered.
Pastor Todd Weston