(1) Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. (2) Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. (3) Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. (4) For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. (5) Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. (6) In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. (7) For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. (8) Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. (9) For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. (10) The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
1 Corinthians 2:7-10 (KJV)
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
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
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
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.
Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House