You will fill me with joy in your presence (Acts 2:28).
As we continue 30 Days of Thankful here’s a question for you: Can practicing thankfulness actually improve your health? Some seem to think so. I once read about a study in which the participants were asked to list the things for which they were thankful—kind of like our thank you book. They were instructed to sustain their gratitude for exactly five minutes. Sounds like weight lifting doesn’t it? The results of the study showed that those who practiced sustained gratitude for five minutes experienced a sharp rise in their disease fighting antibodies—and these antibodies remained elevated for several hours.
A thankful heart is also a joyful heart. The Bible teaches us that true joy comes from Jesus: “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence” (Acts 2:28). The Greek word for “joy” in this verse is euphrosyne and comes from two words that mean “well, or good” and “mind.” So joy—along with a well mind—come when we’re stay connected to Jesus. Such good news!
As we practice being thankful, we naturally become more aware of Jesus Himself. This gives us joy. And who doesn’t want more joy? It’s a language anyone can understand.
The story is told of missionaries who went to a tiny village in some faraway place. Even before they became fluent in the native language, some villagers approached them wanting to hear more about “this Jesus” after hearing the sounds of joy and laughter coming from the missionaries’ hut.
So let’s keep working out those “thank you muscles.” This, in turn, will help us be filled with joy. And let’s pray now that thirsty people–who may not even know what they’re thirsty for–will be drawn to our joy, and to our Jesus who gives us this joy!