When God’s vision for our lives seemingly is not coming to pass, we can become callous and condition ourselves to expect failure, making it very difficult to maintain a cheerful heart.
God did not create us to expect loss and disappointment.
So, when we find ourselves looking for the negative in every positive, and pointing out every reason why something won’t work out for us, we know that we’ve gotten off track. We aren’t tuned into our Father’s love for us. We’ve lost hope.
“A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song,” (Proverbs 15:15 The Message).
The first half of this verse is a sad but accurate description of a heart that has lost faith. Faith is the ability to receive from God creating a cheerful heart and cheerful disposition. When we lose this we become miserable.
One of the saddest parts of living a life like this is that we lose our ability to enjoy the good things in life, our ability to be cheerful. We don’t fully experience joy because we’re always expecting the next storm to hit our lives.
We think that this makes us logical, and that we’re smart for readying ourselves for life’s inevitable disappointments. What we’re actually doing is hardening our hearts to the grace and joy of God. So, we’re weakening ourselves because we’re more sensitive and responsive to failures and setbacks than we are to the power and goodness of God.
To change this we have to make a choice. We have to decide that we’re tired of living a miserable life without faith. We have to choose to be cheerful. When we make this decision our Heavenly Father gives us the remedy in His Word.
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord, In the land of the living,” (Psalm 27:13 NASB).
The solution for despair is faith. Look at the verse again, “I would have despaired unless I had believed.” Despair only survives in the absence of faith. As soon as we decide to start believing God over our fears, our past and our circumstances, we’ll stop living hopeless lives of despair. Instead we’ll have faith that God’s
goodness, or His grace, is working for us and through us.
When we live by faith it doesn’t stop bad things from happening. It means that we no longer expect them to control our lives. All of our expectations are now in Christ.
If we lose our job, we have faith that God will provide a better one.
If we, or any of our family members get sick, we have faith that God will heal them.
If our marriage is in trouble, we have faith that God will show us how to repair it.
Living by faith means that we receive all the good things that God has for us. It means that when tests and trials come against us, we don’t believe that our world is falling apart. We see it as another opportunity for God to show Himself strong.
A life of faith is not miserable or filled with despair. It fills our heart with joy and expectation. It “…fills the day with song,” (Proverbs 15:15).