Flying the Flag of Joy
Solomon left us many statements about the value of joy in his book of Proverbs. Yesterday we read: "A joyful heart is good medicine, / But a broken spirit dries up the bones" (Proverbs 17:22). Take a quick look at a couple more: "A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, / But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken" (15:13); and "a cheerful heart has a continual feast" (15:15).
There is no more effective testimony of a changed life than a winsome spirit. The joy that oozes from that kind of person is contagious. Christians talk a lot about love and faith and hope, but we often fail to emphasize the value of joy. How strange! Especially since it appears next to the top of the list in the fruit of the Spirit, remember?
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22–23).
If God handed out ribbons to those who bear the right fruit, those who demonstrate love on a regular basis would win the blue . . . and those who model joy would wear the red. Laughter that pours out of a joyful heart is one of the most delightful of all sounds on earth. God loves it!
As someone once said, "Joy is the flag flying high above the castle of the heart, announcing that the King is in residence there." (Read that again.)
So, let's lighten up. Let's allow ourselves to rest and relax more often during spontaneous segments of each day, filling those moments with a little fun. Let's stop suppressing our laughter (remember those "hips" from yesterday's devotional!). Let's remind ourselves that a healthy and well-exercised sense of humor is as much a mark of spirituality as being faithful in prayer and being committed to the truths of Scripture.
It's time to unwrap that flag, raise it to the top of the mast, and fly it high!
I think God is delighted with the laughter that pours out of a joyful heart.— Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This
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