So, how is your attitude lately? Here in today's proverb we have an interesting truth that is being presented to us. The truth has to do with what is governing our hearts, or said another way, our choice to how we look at our circumstances in life. We can choose this, whether you know that or not, and it will truly govern what kind of day we are going to experience. Intrigued? Then let's take a look at the proverb today and learn how choosing our attitude each day in response to the grace of God can govern in many ways what kind of day we are going to have.
All the days of the afflicted are bad. This seems to be a "University of Duh" kind of statement, if there was not a second part to this proverb. But this is not speaking of those who are dealing with affliction and hardship and trouble alone. The second half of the proverb points us to what is ruling in a man's heart. The truth of the matter is that often feeling bad in the midst of affliction is far more a matter of the heart than it is just the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Let me explain.
There are those who in the midst of very difficult affliction seem to thrive and keep a great attitude - and - there are those who even in abundance, consider themselves afflicted. I've watched people face the most awful circumstances and still have a cheerful attitude. They are the kind of people you go visit in the hospital, and after leaving the room you wonder who came to encourage who? You can supposedly to encourage and lift their spirits - but leave honestly more encouraged by them. They seem to have an almost inconquerable spirit about them. The reason being is that they do not face life thinking they are afflicted. They do not look at the glass as always half empty. They look at things in light of the grace of God.
When you realize that you deserve hell and the wrath of God for your sin. When you grasp that you honestly deserve nothing but punishment and affliction for the choice to grieve God and live in rebellion to His will. Then you grasp that God in His mercy did NOT punish you - and then in infinite grace sent His Son to pay the price for your rebellion and sin. That you have been given life and life abundantly instead in Christ Jesus. Well, then nothing in this life can even begin to disturb you at your core. I am not saying that afflictions won't hurt and that problems might not get you down initially. But the fact of your salvation should blow your mind and bring you to where you have continually a cheerful heart. Paul warned the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord. He told them again that they should rejoice. This was to protect them from having the sense of an afflicted heart - that would eventually see a cloud inside of every silver lining. Instead we should see how God in His mercy had blessed us beyond all measure. When we see this, we should be filled with a happy heart - a redeemed heart - a joyful heart - and as we read here a cheerful heart. Grace and grace alone is ground to have this indominatable cheerfulness control and utterly dominate your demeanor.
The cheerful heart, we read here, has a continual feast. Christians should have a great attitude - at all times. We should know that light and momentary discomforts (which when you read what Paul called light and momentary seem far from that description) are working for us an eternal weight of glory. We need to know that the varicolored trials and difficulties that we face are reason to rejoice exceedingly - for they are working endurance in our lives. This endurance will result in being mature and complete - lacking nothing in our lives. There is nothing - absolutely nothing that will ever separate us from the love of God that was given to us in Christ Jesus. Therefore even death is not a problem any more. We can walk through life knowing that the final foe is defeated. This, dear saints, is what can fill your heart with joy (i.e. here called cheerfulness) no matter what is going on in your life. I've even seen those facing death have a cheerfulness about their demeanor.
So, what will be your choice today? Will you walk about as one of the continually afflicted - manifesting an "Eyeore-ish" ability to see the reason to not rejoice? That will make every day that you live seem as if it has some bad aspect to it. There is another choice, which is to fill your heart with a joy that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul said it best in Romans chapter 5 when he said, "Therefore, having been made righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God."