A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
In 1979 British punk band Ian Dury and the Blockheads released a song called ‘Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3’, which reached number 3, in the charts. It was a long, long list of ….well, reasons to be cheerful!!
At first listen, it sounds like a lot of nonsensical words strung together in a haphazard way just because they happen to rhyme. It was never my taste in music, but there’s something catchy and fun in that refrain, ‘reasons to be cheerful, 1, 2, 3’ especially with Ian Dury’s accent. And like most songs, it isn’t actually nonsense -it has deeper meaning. The song was inspired by a near-fatal accident involving lighting roadie, Charley who was almost electrocuted in Italy by faulty wiring while the band was on their European tour. The show was cancelled and the song was subsequently written in the band’s hotel. Hence the lyrics that seem to make no sense: ‘no electric shocks’.
Why am I telling you a story about a “worldly” punk rock band from decades ago?
That’s a good question, I’m glad you asked 😄
A couple of weeks ago, my pastor, Lewis Smyth, set our church a little challenge: To make a list of one hundred things we are personally thankful to the Lord for.
I’ve been making my list, and this morning it occurred to me again, as I read that Proverb, that joyfulness/ cheerfulness, is a choice!
Joy is an “Inside Job”
Our joy has nothing to do with our external circumstances and everything to do with our internal thought patterns, filters and attitudes.
Now, if a ‘worldly’ punk rock band, could find a such an interminable list of things to be cheerful about in the midst of ‘70s and ‘80s rising unemployment, racial riots, the near death of one of their good friends, cancellation of a show and the fall out from that, how much more do we, who know Jesus, have to be ‘cheerful‘ for?
Here’s a good place to start:
1. “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 107:1
Or, what about this?
2. “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s” ! Psalm 103:3-5
3. ”So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:15-16
I could be adding reason after reason, just from scripture for the rest of the day – and into next week, and then when I’ve finished doing that I could start listing my own personal reasons; We are SO blessed!
Once you start that list you quickly find that with God, no matter what your circumstances you have ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ not just 1, 2,3 – but a hundred-fold!
Thank you God, for your goodness, Blessing and favour, yesterday, today and forever!
PS: Below is a necklace from my shop Miss Maisie’s Wee Shop, where I sell my handmade jewellery with Biblical and prophetic themes. To view the necklace in the shop, for more details or to purchase, just click on the text order the photo. Jill 💜