Wednesday, July 16, 2014
July 16 – Joyful heart vs. broken spirit
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22 HCSB)
A common mistake is to think that circumstances determine our future, but nothing could be more wrong. Circumstances are responsible for only a fraction of why our life turns out the way it does. Two people can be standing in front of the same problem and have very different outlooks. One can be depressed and other be encouraged. One can be impressed with the impossible nature of a situation while the other one is impressed by the amazing potential just waiting to be used.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus says that good eyes fill a person’s body with light, whereas bad eyes fill him with darkness. Much of how our lives turn out depends on the way we look at life, the way we interpret what our eyes see. Everyone’s retinas and pupils are the same, but our different brains process those identical images differently. At times our reactions may be the result of learned behavior from our parents and relatives, but it could just as easily be our own decisiveness – or lack thereof.
Studies have shown that people who spend all day in a lab learning which muscles are involved in the making of different smiles, end up leaving the lab much happier than people who were asked to practice the formation of frowns all day long. The simple decision to smile caused their attitude to change, affecting the chemicals released into their brains. Unrelated to any existence of happy or sad thoughts, the expression on their faces alone triggered a change in their feelings. Imagine what could happen if a person focuses on having good thoughts, thoughts of faith, thoughts of how with God it is impossible for Him to fail.
Cheerful hearts and broken spirits determine the outcomes in our lives more than anything else. Regardless of what our situations are, how difficult or how impossible, our attitude makes all the difference in the world. But the real kicker is that we have the power to determine our attitudes. We don’t have to wait for anything or anyone to cooperate. Faith in God, that faith that is sure of what it does not see, refuses to give in to a broken spirit. Because it is sure of God’s existence and of how He has to fulfill His promises, faith is stubbornly determined that God is going to make things right.
A cheerful heart undergirded with faith in God is one of the most beneficial forces in the world, and a broken spirit encouraged by the doubts and fears of Satan is one of the most destructive forces in the world. Choose well, and fight to keep that attitude alive, and you will have a fantastic life regardless.