A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.
The world is like a mirror: Frown at it, and it frowns at you; smile at it and it smiles too.
Peter was awestruck. Along with James and John, he’d trudged up the mountain following Jesus, when suddenly “[Jesus’] face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” The spectacle was soon even more amazing: Moses and Elijah—dead for many centuries—appeared and started talking with Jesus.1
“Do you want to be happy?” The splash on a magazine cover caught my eye and made me chuckle. Surely everyone wants to be happy; and you’d think that after millennia of philosophers and theologians tackling the problem—not to mention the self-help books and articles published every year on the topic—we’d have figured out the formula!
So how easy is it to be happy?
Some days seem magical—things go well, I try some new ideas, I have something to show for the hours I’ve spent at various tasks. Then there are other times when I get to the end of the day struggling to find something of note that I accomplished. Sure, the kids were fed and dressed, they did their home-learning activities, they played in the park … but I still feel I want more. I want to be able to check off several things from my long to-do list. I want to be able to say I made leaps of progress. But rather than that, I feel like I’m falling further behind in so many areas of life.
There are cycles in life—times in which everything seems to go well, and times when things seem to go badly. I want you to learn to hold on to Me through each phase of the cycle.
We are unlikely to have Abraham’s calling to become the father of nations.1 Not many of us have the strength of Samson to bring the perpetrators of evil to justice.2 It is rare to be given the responsibility, like Esther, of safeguarding the people of our nation.3 And most of us don’t have the fearlessness of the prophet Daniel, risking life and limb for our faith,4 or even the vigor of the apostle Paul, who evangelized almost the entire known world of his day.5
Walking through a botanical garden in Kolkata, India, I was enthralled by the vibrant and vivid colors of the flowers. For a few hours, I felt like I’d been transported away from the hustle of the city and into a world of beauty. On my way out, I popped into the office to compliment the staff on the good job they do in arranging and caring for the plants.