Helen Keller once said, “Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” There is enough food for thought in those words–especially after considering the person who said them — to pack up and say Amen right now!


But those words do still beg one question, don’t they?

“That sounds great and all but…um…How?”

And that’s the very question I’ve been trying to answer as I’ve maintained a greater awareness of my own attitude and outlook at life this past week. {If you have any feedback on your experience thus far, I sure do welcome it!}

My discovery has been that this week’s concerted effort at choosing to be of good cheer has almost felt like it backfired on me. Either I’ve been grumpy all along and am just now noticing it, or circumstances over the course of the week just brought so many of those tiny little frustrations to the forefront that I couldn’t help but furrow my brows.

The Monday morning after Easter Sunday, oh goodness. We are blessed to wake up in a comfortable home. We have food to eat. Clothes to wear. The kids have books and toys aplenty. And yet somehow within twenty minutes of those tiny feet hitting the floor, it seemed we were all at odds with one another. That wet blanket feeling lay like a misty fog of inescapable grump that had to be barreled through, holding one’s breath, to arrive at the breakfast table.

I observed how much my mood can change based on how long it has been since my last meal. And I was freshly reminded of how much hurry hurts as I attempted to scurry kids out the door on Tuesday. On more than one occasion I found myself in a state of great discomfort–as if a personal battle was taking place, as if I was at war with some unseen force which attempted to squelch my every attempt at moving from the layer of grump to the light of gentle speech, kind words and genuine smiling.

As the war continued this week, I pondered how long it had been going on. How long have I lived content with being defeated? How long have I been satisfied with occasional joy, intermittent spells of cheerfulness, and mostly a consistent sense of blahhhhhhhhhhhhh just keep going and do the next thing blahhhhh.

If you have not personally experienced this, I imagine by this point you might think me insane.

But isn’t this the very thing Paul warned the Ephesians?

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” {Eph. 6:11-12}

We have this Jesus, who repeatedly told His disciples {Remember all those references last time? John 15:11, 16:24, 16:33, 17:13…} Jesus kept saying: take courage, be of good cheer, “be bolstered from within.” Have My joy fulfilled in you. Choose. Make a resolution. Resolve.

And the earliest followers of Jesus were marked by this otherworldly joy, weren’t they? Persecuted, their kindness abounded. Imprisoned, they lifted voices and hands in chains.

Here’s what I have discovered under close examination: as Christians we have every reason to be the absolute most joyful people on God’s good Earth. And. As Christians, we have an enemy who is a thief, who comes to steal and kill and destroy. 

We’re getting robbed and often? We don’t even see it coming. We don’t know it’s happening. We don’t even realize it has happened.

Nearly two decades ago, I spent a summer in ministry in Mexico. We built houses and painted churches and put on puppet shows for children. One was so amusing one of the lines my dearest friend and I laughed over  came to mind again just a few weeks ago. {Picture a grumpy version of Sesame Street’s Ernie, furrowed brows and a bellowing voice.}

“Yo soy el Robogozo, y ha venida para robar tu alegría!!”


“I am the Joystealer, and I have come to steal your joy!”

The Joystealer wrought puppet havoc. But it turned out there was one puppet immune to the power of the Joystealer: the puppet con Cristo en su corazón, The puppet with Christ in her heart, who shared her life and light with those around her, and not only defended herself from the Joystealer… but went on to help others who’d had their joy stolen find new joy in Christ!

I know, it sounds like a ridiculous puppet story, right? But is there truth there? Have I taken nearly twenty years to realize the Robogozo is real and He knows where I live? More important: Could we be a people that resolve to take Christ’s words to heart, take the very heart of Christ to be our own–and allow that joy to form an invincible host against difficulties? Wouldn’t we be a force to be reckoned with! Who wouldn’t want to be a Christian?

The first step is the choice. The choice to resolve. The resolution to be of good cheer. To be bolstered from within. To see past the present to the gift, the hope, the promise eternal that is always ours regardless of circumstance. In Him we have everything we need for life and godliness.

El Robogozo truly does prowl about like a roaring lion, friends. So resolve. Choose. And I’m hoping next week, we’ll continue this conversation with some thoughts about fighting back.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” {John 16:33}

Be of good cheer!


P.S. Here’s a link in case you missed the first Be of Good Cheer post in this series! Please share with a friend that needs encouragement today, and know that I pray these words will bless your heart. I love hearing from you!