I encourage you to examine your heart and see what condition it is in. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”  Most of us are better at taking care of our physical heart than we are our spiritual heart. Have you been guarding your heart lately?

For example, your heart should be a cheerful heart. Is it? Proverbs 15:15 says “. . .the cheerful heart has a continual feast,” and Proverbs 15:13 says that “A happy heart makes the face cheerful. . .” Finally, Proverbs 15:30 tells us that “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart. . .”

Christians shouldn’t be sourpusses, don’t you agree? Our faces should reflect cheer and joy, yet we allow ourselves to be negative all too often, complain a lot, and generally appear as though we’re sad, troubled, and upset all the time. Would your friends call you a cheerful person? Is your heart cheerful?

Maybe you’re thinking, Life is tough for me right now. Things are going very badly. You can’t expect me to have a cheerful heart when bad things are happening. While it’s true that there are times in our lives when happiness seems like a stranger, even then we can know a cheerful heart—a heart that underneath the pain is still at peace because of Jesus.

Ephesians 5:19-20 says, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here is the secret to a cheerful heart: Singing, praising, making music in your heart, and giving thanks at all times. The Apostle Paul wrote these words, and he knew more hardship than we can imagine. Yet in the midst of much trouble, he said, “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.”

How much singing do you do? You may not be a soloist, but you can still sing to the Lord—and to his ears it’s beautiful music. Sing in the midst of your problems; sing when you don’t want to; sing when you feel terrible. Sing praises to God, and see how it cheers your heart up. I promise you, it will work. We are also supposed to help each other to have cheerful hearts by speaking to each other in joyful ways and singing to each other.

God loves cheerful hearts. If yours is not cheerful today, I trust you’ll go straight to the One who can change your heart—Jesus Christ—and follow his prescription for a cheerful heart. It works every time.