Cheerfulness 101

Cheerfulness 101

Every day is hard for those who suffer, but a happy heart is like a continual feast.Proverbs 15:15 NCV

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Cheerfulness is a wonderful antidote to stress. And, as believers who have been saved by a risen Christ, why shouldn’t we be cheerful? The answer, of course, is that we have every reason to honor our Savior with joy in our hearts, smiles on our faces, and words of celebration on our lips.

Christ promises us lives of abundance and joy if we accept His love and His grace. Yet sometimes, even the most righteous among us are beset by fits of ill temper and frustration. During these moments, we may not feel like turning our thoughts and prayers to Christ, but that’s precisely what we should do. When we do so, we simply can’t stay grumpy for long.

Cheerfulness prepares a glorious mind for all the noblest acts of religion—love, adoration, praise, and every union with our God. ~St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

It is not fitting, when one is in God’s service, to have a gloomy face or a chilling look.   ~St. Francis of Assisi

God is good, and heaven is forever. And if those two facts don’t cheer you up, nothing will.    ~Marie T. Freeman

When we bring sunshine into the lives of others, we’re warmed by it ourselves. ~Barbara Johnson

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, You have given me so many reasons to be happy, and I want to be a cheerful Christian. Today and every day, I will do my best to share my happiness with my family and my friends. Amen

Joy in God’s Presence

Joy in God’s Presence

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows. - Matthew 10:29-31

joypresence.newlifeDo you spend time in God’s presence praying, singing praises to Him, and bowing before Him? These are things that each of us benefit from.

Do you feel too macho or too proud to bow or sing to God? If that’s the case then look with me at a real man in the Old Testament. The psalms of King David are songs that still give us direction and hope. David was a man who knew his own sinfulness yet was able to sing, “What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts. What joys await us inside your holy Temple.” (Psalm 65:4)

God wants you to know you are welcome and valued before Him. The joy you find in His presence each day will help you stay tuned in to His desire for you. Worship and prayer will remind you of how great and holy God is. You’ll gain a new appreciation for how gracious God is to forgive you and allow you into His presence.

When was the last time you prayed and sang to Jesus? If it’s been a while, try it. You’ll experience something very special. You’ll continue the process of being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow. - Helen Keller

 

 

28 Quotes on being thankful

thankful quotes

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
― William Arthur Ward

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. – H. U. Westermayer

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. – Psalm 95:1-5

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say, ‘Thank you?’ – William Ward

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. – Psalm 100:1-5

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. – John F. Kennedy

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed. If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude. – Robert Brault

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. – 1 Chronicles 16:8

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. – G.K. Chesterton

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! – Henry Ward Beecher

I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. – Psalm 7:17

Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all. – William Faulkner

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.’ – Isaiah 12:3-5

If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. – Gerald Good

From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained. – Jeremiah 30:19

Who does not thank for little will not thank for much. – Estonian Proverb

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? – 1 Corinthians 10:16

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. – Eric Hoffer

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. – 2 Corinthians 9:10-12

When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep? – George Canning

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. – Ephesians 1:15-16

Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart. – Henry Clay

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. – Ephesians 5:3-4

The grateful person, being still the most severe exacter of himself, not only confesses, but proclaims, his debts. – Robert South

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. – William Arthur Ward

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers. – Philemon 1:4

New Life Live: April 25, 2012

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Hosts: Steve Arterburn
Special New Life moments with Mike Nason and other staff: Jim, Terrie, Sharon, MaryAnn, Becky, and Jeff.  Thank you to our wonderful callers who shared today: Jerry, Donna Lee, Felicia, Susie, Sarah, Karen, Joy, Jane, Eileen, Melissa, and Diane.

Suggested Resources:
Walking Into Walls
Is This The One

New Life Live: April 26, 2011

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Hosts:
Steve Arterburn, Dr. Jill Hubbard, Milan Yerkovich

Discussion Topics:
Grief, getting unstuck, marriage, adult children, sexual integrity.

Caller Questions:
1. How do I get back my joy after loss and disability?
2. I can’t move on after my recent divorce from an abusive marriage.
3. My marriage is on the rocks; what should I do?
4. Should I intervene? My 19yo daughter is living with a 33yo married man.
5. My husband attended Every Man’s Battle 2yrs ago but he didn’t follow up with it.

Suggested Resources:
Healing Is a Choice
How We Love
Grief CD

New Life Live: March 29, 2011

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Hosts:
Steve Arterburn, Dr. Dave Stoop, Dr. Sheri Denham

Discussion Topics:
Marriage, dating, pornography, getting unstuck, grief.

Caller Questions:
1. Dave, can you expound on “love is not necessary for marriage”?
2. Is it OK to be cremated?
3. My fiance is into porn; should we continue dating?
4. I lost 3 babies; how do I regain joy?
5. Am I wasting my time since my boyfriend won’t commit to marriage?

Suggested Resources:
Every Woman’s Marriage
Every Woman’s Battle
Healing Is a Choice

Important Ingredient for Happy Relationships in this Holiday Season

Christmas time with all the love, warmth, celebration, good food, generosity, etc. can be a great time for building better relationships. Using this as an opportunity for positive togetherness apparently can even improve your marriage. Couples who enthusiastically share positive experiences find their love for each other growing.

According to an article by Suzann Pileggi in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue “The Happy Couple”:

In the past few years positive psychology researchers have discovered that thriving couples accentuate the positive in life…they…celebrate the happy moments and work to build more bright points into their lives.

It turns out that how couples handle good news may matter even more to their relationship than their ability to support each other under difficult circumstances. Happy pairs also individually experience a higher ratio of upbeat emotions to negative ones than people in unsuccessful liaisons to…Researchers found that when a partner proffered a supportive response to cheerful statements, the ‘responded to’ ratings were higher than they were after a sympathetic response to negative news. Suggesting that how partners reply to good news may be a stronger determinant of relationship health than their reaction to unfortunate incidents.

In addition, couples who answered good news in an active constructive way scored higher on almost every type of measure of relationship satisfaction than those who responded in a passive or destructive way…shows that a person cares about why the good news is important…conveying that you ‘get’ your partner.”

Expressing gratitude on a regular basis is also vital and may act as a booster shot for romantic relationships.

In light of this, what can be done to take full advantage of this opportune time for improving and securing our closest relationships?

  • Keep everything positive! Be the one to bring the happiness to the party…the dinner table…the relationship!
  • Build in extra times of having fun together.
  • Have beautiful Christmas music playing softly in the background…invite your partner to dance!
  • Express your gratitude at least three times a day to and for your partner (and children!) and thank them for all they do fo you.
  • Establish your own rituals and traditions.
  • Laugh while messing up…laugh while cleaning up together!
  • And …apparently very important…share the other’s joy!

Have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year together. May we all remember our most important relationship of all …our partnership with our beautiful Lord …and share our joy with Him at least three times a day!

Seeking God and Finding Happiness

But happy are those . . . whose hope is in the LORD their God.
PSALM 146:5 NLT

Do you sincerely want to be a happy Christian? Then set your mind and your heart upon God’s love and His grace.

Happiness depends less upon our circumstances than upon our thoughts. When we turn our thoughts to God, to His gifts, and to His glorious creation, we experience the joy that God intends for His children. But, when we focus on the negative aspects of life, we suffer needlessly.

The fullness of life in Christ is available to all who seek it and claim it. Count yourself among that number. Seek first the salvation that is available through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and then claim the joy, the peace, and the spiritual abundance that the Shepherd offers His sheep.

True happiness consists only in the enjoyment of God. His favor is life, and His loving-kindness is better than life.   ~Arthur W. Pink

Pleasure-seeking is a barren business; happiness is never found till we have the grace to stop looking for it and to give our attention to persons and matters external to ourselves.   ~J. I. Packer

No matter how hard he searches, nothing beneath the skies and nothing above the skies can make any man happy apart from God.   ~C. H. Spurgeon

God has charged Himself with full responsibility for our eternal happiness and stands ready to take over the management of our lives the moment we turn in faith to Him.   ~A. W. Tozer

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, I am thankful for all the blessings You have given me. Let me be a happy Christian, Father, as I share Your joy with friends, with family, and with the world. Amen

His Promises

As for God, his way is perfect.
All the LORD’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

PSALM 18:30 NLT

What do you expect from the day ahead? Are you willing to trust God completely, or are you living beneath a cloud of doubt and fear? God’s Word makes it clear: you should trust Him and His promises, and when you do, you can live courageously.

For thoughtful Christians, every day begins and ends with God’s Son and God’s promises. When we accept Christ into our hearts, God promises us the opportunity for earthly peace and spiritual abundance. But more importantly, God promises us the priceless gift of eternal life.

Sometimes, especially when we find ourselves caught in the inevitable entanglements of life, we fail to trust God completely.

Are you tired? Discouraged? Fearful? Be comforted and trust the promises that God has made to you. Are you worried or stressed? Be confident in God’s power. Do you see a difficult future ahead? Be courageous and call upon God. He will protect you and then use you according to His purposes. Are you confused? Listen to the quiet voice of your Heavenly Father. He is not a God of confusion. Talk with Him; listen to Him; trust Him, and trust His promises. He is steadfast, and He is your Protector . . . forever.

Joy is not mere happiness. Nor does joy spring from a life of ease, comfort, or peaceful circumstances. Joy is the soul’s buoyant response to a God of promise, presence, and power.   ~Susan Lenzkes

The meaning of hope isn’t just some flimsy wishing. It’s a firm confidence in God’s promises—that He will ultimately set things right.   ~Sheila Walsh

Gather the riches of God’s promises which can strengthen you in the time when there will be no freedom.   ~Corrie Ten Boom

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, the Bible contains many promises. Let me trust Your promises, and let me live according to Your Holy Word, not just for today, but forever. Amen

Making Way For Joy

Steve Arterburn

Most men tend to stuff.  Often, we trade our grief or sorrow for anger.  But in order to release the past into God’s hands, you must fully encounter your grief, and you must be willing to forgive yourself and others for the pain that’s occurred.  

This isn’t easy. But we can learn from some people who went before us.  Many of the Jewish exiles who returned to Jerusalem after captivity in Babylon had forgotten the laws of God.  During the exile, they hadn’t been taught his laws, so, naturally, they hadn’t practiced them.  After rebuilding the city wall and the Temple, the priests gathered the people together to read the Book of the Law.  The people were overwhelmed with grief and began sobbing because their lives in no way measured up.  But the priests said to them:

‘Today is a sacred day before the Lord your God’Go and celebrate with a feast of choice foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared.  This is a sacred day before our Lord.  Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength’ (Nehemiah 8:9-10).

The process of releasing the past requires grief and forgiveness.  Then you are given the ‘joy of the Lord’ as your strength.  This joy comes from recognizing, even celebrating, God’s ability to set you free from the past, and in doing so, a new way of life.