Proverbs 15:15: “All the days of the afflicted are evil, / But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.”

September 14th, 2014 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Centuries ago, as Benjamin Franklin concluded a stirring speech on the guarantees of the constitution, a heckler shouted, “Aw, them words don’t mean nothing at all. Where’s all the happiness you say it guarantees us?” Franklin smiled as he replied, “My friend, the constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness; you have to catch it yourself.” According to this proverb, the wise and godly person catches happiness; and their heart is full of joy, like someone attending an unending wedding feast.

We catch a merry heart when we get a glimpse of God’s grace extended to us on the cross of Calvary. When we are right with Him, it is far easier to see the good happening around us, and to hope in His future blessings on us. When we are struggling in our relationship with Him, because of sin, it is very difficult to see anything but our problems, and we have no hope that they will be any different in the future. The answer is of course to repent and restore our relationship with Him, which will also restore our merry heart.

There will be times, even when we are right with God, that our lives will be difficult. But we can still have a merry heart, because we can choose our daily attitude, even when we cannot choose our circumstances. We can choose to be thankful and praise God in all things, even when difficulties seem to be crowding us in. We can remember that He is good and that He has promised to walk with us through our struggles.

We can also pursue a merry heart by NOT taking ourselves too seriously. And even, when appropriate, laughing at our feeble selves. Psychiatrist Smiley Blanton wrote, “I’ve seldom been called on to help a person who had a sense of the ridiculous, and I’ve never had to treat anyone who could really laugh at himself.”

“LORD, we do take You, what You have done for us, and what You have given by Your grace in salvation, very seriously. But help us to laugh at ourselves a little and see eternity with You in everything we do this day.”