God delights in those who honor him
A cheerful spirit
For the poor, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.
When I think of God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes leap and dance as they leave my pen; and since God has given me a cheerful heart, I serve Him with a cheerful spirit.
A happy heart
A person’s heart is a major concern of the Lord. God’s Word tells us that he doesn’t look at the things people look at. We look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart; that is, our “thoughts and intentions” (1 Samuel 16:7). Today’s verse tells us that a happy, or cheerful, heart make life “a continual feast.” How do we obtain—and maintain—this happy heart? There are many clues throughout the book of Proverbs. We should not let our hearts be anxious or proud because anxiety and pride are deterrents to a cheerful heart (Proverbs 12:25; 16:5). Instead, God calls us to have pure hearts and to keep them on the right path (Proverbs 22:11; 23:19). These are positive steps to achieving a happy heart because when we are being obedient to God’s Word and experiencing his smile of approval, our hearts will be lighter, even in difficult times. The Bibles gives us many other instructions about how to have “healthy” hearts, but a good place to start is to embrace the truth of Proverbs 15:15 and ask God to show us how to develop hearts that are happy, no matter what challenges we are facing.
FATHER, help me to have a happy heart. Remove the anxiety that sometimes weighs my heart down. Keep my heart from growing proud. Instead, give me a pure heart—a heart that is pleasing to you. Help me to hide your Word in my heart so that I can walk in your ways and enjoy life that is a continual feast.
Adapted from The One Year® Book of Praying through the Bible by Cheri Fuller, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), entry for May 17.