A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance...
He who is of a merry heart has a continual feast...
A man has joy by the answer of his mouth...
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart.
This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
If God reveals life and death as choices,* if He encourages us to choose life, if Christ is the Embodiment of life, then our choices move us closer to Him... or to death's embodiment, the devil. Every word and step moves us up or down. Every bite, nod, action and reaction to the circumstances we encounter expand to determine our destinies.
One choice too seldom made is happiness. My dad, Jack Lewis, the fighter pilot, was an uncompromising optimist. During his last couple of years on earth, he was in and out of the hospital, boxing in short rounds with pneumonia. He continued to win each one quickly, with the ease of a combat veteran.
But his last match came in 2010. Since he didn't take it seriously, neither did I. I called him on the phone, and here's the gist of our conversation.
'How's it going, daddy? Are you okay?'
'It's going great. I love the nurses here. They're so good looking. It's like a party.'
And so it was, ending up with the Lord. Tenaciously, my dad chose happiness.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: choose happiness each and every day. Your circumstances won't be perfect, but your outlook can be perfected by the transforming choice of gladness.
Because seeing the light in darkness, thanking God no matter what happens, laughing at minor irritations, refusing to become offended, showing kindness instead of anger, waiting in cheerful expectation is 'Rejoicing in the Lord always' (Philippians 4:4).
It worked for my dad, and I'm certain it will work the same way for us now. Because God said it, so it will be:
'Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart' (Psalm 37:4)
'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus' (Philippians 4:6-7)
To Be Continued...
* 'I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live' (Deuteronomy 30:19).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.