First off, it seems to me that some people cannot take a joke, and other people seem grumpy all the time. I do not know why they are like that, but it breaks my heart. They are definitely not free and seem to be under great pressure in this life. But have you ever wondered why most things in this life seem so hard for some folks and not for others? Or maybe, why some people seem to be struggling and unhappy and unsatisfied week after week. You know the type, right? They have a laundry list of their life’s difficulties, complaints, and problems that can suck the joy right out of the happiest of people. If you are an empathetic person, this can be exhausting to be around. Yet, others in similar, if not worse circumstances, are joyful day in and day out? Solomon writes, “All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he (or she) who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” (Proverbs 15:15) My grandfather told me that my actions would always follow my attitude. You know what? He was right. You and I have been given the God-given ability to control our choices. What kind of attitude we have regarding people or circumstances, whether they are in or out of our control, is one of those choices. We can be free. Solomon does not say the one with the merry heart has lots of money, possessions, food, or a life without problems, only that their attitude is full of joy and thankfulness for what they do have. For a merry heart is satisfying and restorative to our souls. Choosing a happy attitude is not only rightly satisfying, but that choice to be joyful can be healing to us as well. The book of Proverbs goes on to say, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) The Psalmist writes, “Surely he will never be shaken; The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” (Psalm 112:6–7) So, the next time you and I are tempted to complain about our circumstances, hurt, or another person, take a breath, choose one thing to be joyful about in that moment, trust the Lord, and see what happens next. You will be blessed and find rest. Who knows, you might even laugh a little.