You’ve Got to Have Heart

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22 NIV

“What you carry in your heart affects much more than you imagine.”

My thoughts today are, “you’ve got to have heart.”

Do you know what’s really in your heart? The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart and examine the mind . .” Jeremiah 17:9-10 NIV. Sounds like we might have quite a problem here. The heart can be a tricky thing. How could you take an inventory of your heart, and why would you do so?

The Bible uses the heart to describe who you really are at your core, and what you are about. Maybe that’s why the Bible finds it important to distinguish that “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV. If that’s where God looks, it would seem wise that occasionally and regularly you took time to look there as well. I find that I need God’s help to really look into my own heart. I have to cry out sincerely with the Psalmist, Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties. And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV. Do you know what the cry of God’s heart is? See Deuteronomy 5:29 NKJV.

I knew that the heart would be a major theme of Scripture, but was amazed at the near innumerable times and ways the heart is described in both Old and New Testaments. A quick reading of those occurrences of the word in a Bible Concordance is both enlightening and sobering, and would be time well spent. What you carry in your heart affects much more of everyday life than you might imagine. The Bible describes “the hidden man of the heart . . which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:4 NKJV. Never allow anything to hide in your heart that you do not want expressed in your life.

At the source of things either good or bad, you will find your heart. See Matthew 12:34-35/15:18-19 NKJV. The heart is the place where love is born and faith resides. Mark 12:30-31 NIV/Romans 10:10-11 NKJV. But that’s also where doubt lodges, before disturbing your thoughts – where desire is birthed, then expressed in behavior – where attitudes are formed that are then evidenced in words and deeds. I think you get the idea.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 NIV. Do you know how God does that? He cleanses and changes your heart by His Word and Spirit. “For the word of God is living and active . . it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart . . through the Holy Spirit who gives us new birth and new life by washing us.” Hebrews 4:12 NIV/Titus 3:5-6 TEV. See Ephesians 5:26-27 NIV.

Here is a practical application that can make your day a better day. A clean heart is the basis for a cheerful heart. “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22 NIV. My grandmother would have described the idea this way, “It’s good for what ails you.” In reading your Bible, have you noticed how many times Jesus began His words by first saying, “Be of good cheer.” That’s a good place to start, whatever the situation or latest news. Choose to live cheerfully, “making music to the Lord in your heart.” Read Ephesians 5:18-20 NLT.

My prayer for you today is that your heart is holy and happy in God.