‘All the days of the oppressed are wretched,
but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.‘
For all my peeps that grew up in the church, do you remember this song from Sunday School?
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.
Where? Down in my heart!
Where? Down in my heart!
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,
down in my heart
down in my heart to stay.
And I’m so happy. So very happy !
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart.
And I’m so happy so very happy
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart!
If that song is stuck in your head now for the rest of the day…you’re welcome.
I know I remember singing it but never understood what it meant except that I knew after it was over it was snack time.
But if we consider the implications of these simple words they can be transformational.
Imagine the joy and love of Jesus in your heart to stay. The peace, understanding, compassion, mercy, grace, unconditional love of Jesus in your heart to stay. Now that WOULD make me happy for sure. In fact it would make me beyond happy.
It would make me down right joyful.
Solomon echoes this idea in Proverbs 15. Throughout these lines you hear the attributes of a joyful person jumping off the pages.
- “gentle answer turns away wrath” – v.1
- “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,” v.2
- “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life,” v. 3
- “The house of the righteous contains great treasure,” v. 6
- “A happy heart makes the face cheerful,” v.13
- “the cheerful heart has a continual feast” v. 15
- “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply” v. 23
- “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,” v. 30
However we also see the results of a sour spirit and an unjoyful person too.
- “harsh word stirs up anger.” v. 1
- “the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” v. 2
- “a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” v. 4
- “The LORD detests the way of the wicked” v. 9
- “heartache crushes the spirit.” v. 13
- “All the days of the oppressed are wretched,” v. 15
- “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension,” v. 18
- “A greedy man brings trouble to his family,” v. 27
- “the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.” v. 28
What I think is so important to remember, is that the control for our joy is found within us.
If we allow the true love of Jesus to consume us than joy is in abundance.
But if the world is allowed to overtake our spirit we become joy deficient and the storm clouds always seem to be resting over our heads.
We have the choice on how we react and interact with the world around us. My prayer is that you and I choose to allow the love of Christ to dwell within us so deeply that no matter what is throw our way our spirit can remain filled with joy.
Down in my heart to stay!