For the despondent, every day brings trouble; But for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. –Proverbs 15:15 (NLT)
A few years ago, a study was published reporting that emotions can be passed along much like a case of the flu. Meaning: if you know someone who is happy–especially if it is a mutual friendship–you are more likely to be a happy person. In fact, not only you, but others you know will benefit because of this happy person in your life. A part of the study’s conclusion was simply that a person’s well-being is not only dependent on his or her own behaviors and emotions, but also as a direct result of one’s social network.
We often do not have control of what happens to us, but we do have control of our attitude and how we respond. As the proverb says, “for those who approach everyday hopeless, they will surely find a day of trouble.” The opposite holds true as well. For those who go about their day focused on the good with a heart of gratitude, they will surely find happiness in each day.
So how do you get a happy heart? First, it matters with whom you surround yourself. Are you in relationship with joyful followers of Christ? Or do you constantly surround yourself with naysayers? Make sure you have people in your life who have happy hearts and encourage the same in you.
However, if you really want some guidance in having a happy heart in the midst of adversity, follow Paul’s example when he was in prison. He left a formula for the way to a happy heart in Philippians 4:8. He encouraged the people of Philippi to fill their minds and hearts with what is true, right and noble and to think on godly and good things. It does not matter what we are faced with, joy will find its way into your soul when you focus on godly things.
1. Think about your overall attitude in life. In what ways have you helped yourself towards a happy heart and in what ways have you kept yourself from experiencing a happy heart?
2. Perhaps you are involved in unhealthy relationships or unhealthy thoughts. What areas in your life might need to have some changes made?
Proverbs 14:30; Philippians 4:8