On the desk in my office I have a daily flip calendar called “She Lives, She Loves, She Laughs”. It has a little quote or Bible verse for each day. This is today’s verse:
“A cheerful heart does good like medicine.” Proverbs 17:22
Such a simple verse. Such a sweet verse. Yes, please, I would like a cheerful heart. I would like to experience the positive benefits of it that would heal me, restore me and make me better like medicine.
What is cheer? Where can I get it? Is it expensive?
Sometimes I am astounded at the things I assume that I know. I know what cheer is right, it’s like happiness. Or it’s something that a crowd shouts at a sporting event. But those definitions do not sound very proverbial to me, so I set off to visit my favorite references: the dictionary and the thesaurus.
While dictionary.com defines cheer as a shout used by spectators to show enthusiasm for an athletic team and to mean a state of feeling such as gladness, it also can mean a shout of encouragement, or something that gives joy, encouragement or comfort.
I had cheer over just reading this definition, mostly because ENCOURAGEMENT is part of my life’s mission and just a huge buzz word for me. My attention is peaked at the mere mention of the word.
Synonyms for the word cheer include: applaud, shout of approval, root for, optimism, joyfulness and liveliness.
To really make sure I have a firm foundational understanding of cheer I then turned to the Bible. Where I found the following verses:
“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25
“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:13
“All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
Take Away Truths
- Anxiety is a burden upon our hearts and heartache can feel like it is crushing us
- Cheer can come through the simplicity of a kind word
- A happy heart on the inside will be revealed to the world on the out side
- A cheerful heart will experience rich abundance
- A cheerful heart can give freely and willingly, without being forced to do so
Anxiety, oppression, the wretched days of living in a broken world, they can be a great crushing burden upon us. Think about the stress in your life. What today in this moment is bearing down upon your heart? Is it negative consequences of bad choices? Is it a financial burden? Is it a broken relationship? Is it a lost friend? Is it emptiness and loneliness? Is it a hard decision or conversation that you know you need to have?
Could you use some cheer?
I love how the God can put things into simple terms for us. It’s not always easy but God uses the smallest things to make a big difference. A kind word cheers up the heart.
I can think of no kinder place to find words that cheer than in the Bible. To hear how much we are loved. To know how wonderfully we are made. To know that God delights in us.
You are loved.
You are wonderfully made.
God delights in you.
What would happen in your day today, in my day today, if we just kept replaying those three sentences in our minds. I am loved. I am wonderfully made. God delights in me.
Did a drop of cheer just splash against your heart the way it did in mine?
When I think of medicine, I think of something that I take that will help me to function better. It may be so that I can just continue to get through the normal tasks of my day, but that I may feel less pain along the way. What if the medicine of cheer is the same thing, it helps us to function better in what we are doing.
The last three take away truths seem to be evidence that cheer can help us to function better. A cheerful heart on the inside can make a face cheerful. Who doesn’t want to encounter more cheerful faces in their day?!!
A cheerful heart can experience a feast, a rich abundance. God sprinkles blessings, pours blessings over us each day, but so many days I’ve got my attention focused on the smallest annoyances and frustrations, that I pick up and carry with me. It’s about time I let go and turned my eyes to what God is providing.
A cheerful heart makes a cheerful giver, one who gives freely and willingly. Not out of obligation or of being forced. Freely. Opening my hands and letting blessings flow through. Rather than exerting so much energy struggling to hold it in for myself while it slides through the tiniest cracks in my fingers. A cheerful heart, a cheerful giver.
Today I want to be a conveyer of cheerfulness. I want to carry, to bring, to transport cheer from one place to another. Who knows who will benefit from my cheer. Perhaps it is you my dear reader. So I will say my kind words again. You are loved. You are wonderfully made. God delights in you. Perhaps it will be those working at my dentist’s office, whom I have to visit very shortly. Who knows? God does.
Beloved and Treasured Lord,
I lift up to You each one of my precious readers. Whether they have been following for years or are just getting connected to my words. Lord, bring them great cheer today. May it be like a sweet and healing medicine. May they be covered in words of kindness. May they find relief from the anxiety and the pains that put a crushing weight upon them.
Lord, may we all experience a refreshment and renewal on the inside that shines right through to our outsides. May we smile brighter today. May we be open to experiencing a more abundant life and may we feast upon the blessings of this day. May we find a new willingness to give freely.
Lord, may we bring cheer with us today, offering what we have to those around us – at work, at school, at home, out in our communities. Wherever it may be, may we be conveyers of Your cheerfulness.
In the encouraging name of Jesus, amen.