Recently, I read a research study that showed that being happy can be good for our health. This research indicated that smiling (being happy) slows down the heart and reduces stress.

Smiling doesn't just benefit you; a honest smile blesses the ones on the receiving end as well. Without uttering a single word, it can tell others that you like them and that you are happy with them without even the slightest touch.

I agree that life does not always give us a reason to smile. However, when we witness a heartfelt smile on a child's face or through aged wrinkles, our hearts are encouraged.

Displaying a smile on our faces also is a indicator of the image of God in each of us. In the ancient blessing recorded in the book of Numbers we come to understand that God "smiles": "The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give your peace" (Num. 6:25-26). Those words are a Hebrew idiom for the favor of God on a person's life.

So on this day, remember that your smile could be an instant indicator of cheer from God to a needy soul.

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