It is a wonder to meet someone who is often cheerful, but "Mrs. Martha," as I call her, is always --always -- cheerful.
Every single time I ask her if she had a good week, she replies with a positive answer. If I ask her if she is feeling good, she gives back a definitive, "Yes!"
There is never any wavering in Mrs. Martha's cheerfulness, in her positive outlook on life. She is a pleasure to be around, a joy to be with and someone I look forward to seeing each week.
Now if I told you Mrs.Martha lived in a fine house in the richest part of town, you might understand her great attitude. Or if she spent her time flitting around the globe visiting exotic or beautiful sites and venues, we might see why she is so cheerful.
Mrs. Martha, however, spends her days in a wheelchair and the "exotic" or "beautiful sites and venues" she sees are the walls of the nursing care facility where she now lives. One one think this would add a touch of sadness, disappointment or gloominess to her disposition. But not Mrs. Martha, she is as cheerful as ever. Why? Because her joy is not based on her circumstances, they are based on a Person, the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When our joy is found in Him, it cannot be shaken, stolen or removed simply because our circumstances change. We have joy in every circumstance because He is our joy -- joy unspeakable, as described in the Scriptures. Mrs. Martha knows this great truth because she knows Him.
In 1869 a beautiful poem was written and published in the newspaper. It was attributed simply to "Pauline T." Later it was put to music and has become a very popular song. I especially love one of the verses from that poem:
What tho my joys and comforts die?
The Lord, my Savior liveth!
What tho the darkness 'round me lie?
Songs in the night He giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that Rock I'm clinging
Since Christ is Lord of Heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?
I Peter 1:8,9