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Verse of the Day

Proverbs 17:22

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Application

At some point in every life, each of us experiences anxiety, heartache and heartbreak, betrayal, disappointment and loss. It is inevitable. However, if we become self absorbed with circumstance we are bound to remain crushed in spirit. It is a well known fact that depression and anxiety cause physical and mental illnesses and shortens our lives. Conversely, we know that laughter, joy and optimism produces adds years to our lifespan.

So, how do we make ourselves joyful? There are three main areas that directly effect our cheer quotient. The first is our thought life. When you are feeling fearful or anxious be aware of the negative thoughts that you entertain and notice how they cause you to spiral down into anxiety depression. The bible says, "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about these things." Phil 4:8 We should be thinking about good things and learn to stop ourselves from entertaining the bad. We CAN control our thoughts. It takes work, but we can do it! The bible tells us that "God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and self-discipline." 1Tim 1:7. If God has given us self-control, we can control our thought life. And again in Phil 4:6-7, God tells us "Don't be anxious about anything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." This is so important to remember when we are feeling anxious, fearful, or depresses. God knows we were going to have days like this and in His mercy, He tells us what we should do, and promises to be with us and that He will give us His peace.
The second area is your eternal perspective. If you believe that this life is all there is, it is certainly understandable how we can so easily become consumed with our circumstances. But the bible teaches us that we do not cease to exist when we die, rather, we will go on to another place. This is not our home! We are here for such a short time compared to eternity. If we choose Jesus, the lie that awaits us is incredible. This life is NOT all there is! In John 14:1-6 Jesus says, "Donít let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. In my Father's house there are many mansions. If this were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will take you to myself, that where I am you will be also. And you know the way to where I am going.Ē

And thirdly, our level of servanthood. How much of your life is devoted to serving those who are less fortunate, helpless, discouraged, ill or dying? Those who have a high servant quotient typically exhibit less depression and anxiety. Why? Because they are so immersed with helping others they do not have time to concentrate on themselves. Friends, when we realize the level of sickness, heartache, and lonliness in the world, it is then we realize that we are very very blessed and will find ourselves moving from self-centeredness to others-centeredness, which is what Jesus is all about. Paul describes the life Christ wants us to live when he said, "Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross." Phil 2:3 Find a nursing home and you will find lonliness. Find a hospital and you will find fear and weariness. Look around you and find someone to love. All it takes is a little bit of time to give a hug, provide a meal, drop off a flower or speak an encouraging word. You may discover that giving really is more blessed than receiving and that true joy and happiness can be found much closer than you ever dreamed possible.