Are you happy? Do you know it? Do you show it?
It has always amazed me how much a smile can change a face and make it more attractive, better looking – male or female. Those smiles which are just on the cusp of bursting into laughter are by far the most attractive, and they are infectious. When a smile becomes laughter, things start to happen. We have all had experience of kids with the giggles – one starts and they all join in, and trying to get them to stop is a bit like picking up jelly with your hands. In Blackpool there is a display box, and inside the glass case is a mechanical clown which laughs all the time – raucous, deep laughter. It has been there for many years – I remember it as a very small child. Stand beside it for a few minutes and you soon find yourself smiling, verging on laughter.
We can all put on a smile, but it is the real smile from deep inside which is powerful. We can all (I hope) be happy, but it is the happiness that comes from deep inside which is powerful. It isn’t based just on what is happening around us or to us. It is based on what is happening within us. It is not contrived and it is uncontrollable. It is called joy.
Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sins are put out of sight.
Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin. (Romans 4:7-8, NLT)
We have so many reasons to be happy, but here is a truly wonderful reason to be filled with joy! It is not a passing thing, it doesn’t fade or lose importance or power. It is permanent. When our records are wiped clean, they are clean!
But when we know this enormous truth, why don’t we show it? Why doesn’t it glow from us all the time? Why don’t we smile, laugh, jump for joy?
In Romans 2:24, Paul says, ‘No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.”‘ For many years I was put off “church” because of the sullen faces I saw in and around churches. So many Christians seemed so unhappy that I could only deduce that God was the God of DON’T – that had to be the reason they were so unhappy!
I don’t like blasphemy, and I don’t want to encourage it. So, today I am going to smile and laugh and clap and jump! I want to bring honour and glory to God – if it’s as easy as smiling, why not?