A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. Proverbs 17:22
If you are a health researcher like me, you would understand why we research causes of illness and disease in a population. When we discover the cause or the association of cause and effect of an illness we can easily stop an epidemic. During my meditation today I discovered that God had diagnosed a disease (dried bones) and had also identified the cause (broken spirit) long before any pharma- industry was created. He had foreseen an epidemic and had also prescribed the drug (a merry/joyful heart) for it! There is a highly significant association between a “broken spirit” and many diseases affecting people today. (o.k. enough of scientific research talk already 😉 )
Life’s circumstances, be it the loss of a loved one, marital issues, the collapse of a business or personal financial issues may cripple or crush us leaving us disabled, perplexed and frustrated. It is hard to sing, dance and shout hallelujah in these circumstances! Yet we are encouraged by God to choose joy in the midst of our circumstances. We are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, so rejoice with exceeding joy Matthew 5:12 says.
A rejoicing heart, therefore, does not arise from a life that exists without problems, but from a life that sees with eyes of faith, seeing things which are not as if they are. That is the reason Jesus although He despised the cross, endured its shame and pain by setting His heart on the joy that lay in His resurrection and the effect of it for us today. His joy was not on the cross, but in what lay beyond the cross. We are commanded to have this same mindset so we do not become discouraged in our souls, broken in our spirit and consequently dry to our bones!
Friends, it doesn’t matter whether you are going through comfort or tribulation, love or conflict, you can still have a merry/joyful heart by looking beyond your struggles. Let the joy of the lord be your strength. Rejoice in the lord and in His goodness. This is your daily Paracetamol (medication) which will give you the strength you require to move on. Let your heart look at life through the eyes of faith. Let your heart walk through the valley of the shadow of death with confidence, because it trusts in the Lord as their shepherd. Do not focus on the valley, but in the author and finisher of faith – Jesus Christ. May your heart not look for the pleasures of life, but rejoice in what God is doing for your eternal good. Joy comes from fellowship with God and a consistent intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. In that, we all can rejoice!