“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)
How are you today? How are you feeling? Are you happy in life? Do you have a positive outlook or a negative one? When stress hits, do you handle it well or do you let it handle you? It is good to self-reflect on such things once in a while. It is even better to pray and to ask God how you are doing in such areas. Now, that we have acknowledged our feelings and reflected on our outlook, let’s delve into God’s Word.
The first part of Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine”. This verse is wonderful encouragement to have a positive outlook instead of a negative one. When you are happy overall, when you trust God and fear nothing but Him, and when you are able to find joy even though others cannot, you go a long way in staying healthy, not only emotionally, but spiritually and physically as well.
Let’s look at the phrase, “like a medicine” for a moment. Medicine can sometimes be a controversial topic. Some believe that medicine, or at least man-made medicine does more harm than good. Others take medicine as needed and believe it is what is needed to help, if not cure their ailment and condition. However, we look at it, we know from the context that the author meant “medicine” to be a good thing just as a “merry heart” is a good thing and causes good things to happen.
The second part of Proverbs 17:22 says, “but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” We have all probably felt down or depressed at one time or another. As people who have chronic depression can testify, being depressed can be debilitating not only emotionally, but also physically and spiritually as well. Even feeling down or depressed for a short time, we can sometimes notice how it changes our physical and spiritual health in a negative way too.
I know there have been times when I have felt down or depressed and I felt old. I felt slow, unstable, unsure of myself, and hesitant. My posture was kind of hunched over and my body ached. I just felt bad overall. Have you ever felt like that? I hope you haven’t, but if you have, you know the feeling I mean.
So, if we are down or depressed, how can we have the “merry heart” instead of the “broken spirit”? We can try things like listening to music, talking with a friend, smiling or laughing (even for no reason), taking up a hobby that we might enjoy, Christian fellowship, going to church, or any number of things. However, there is only one true way.
Here are some verses that can help:
“Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and [that it may be] well with you, and [that] ye may prolong [your] days in the land which ye shall possess.”
Deuteronomy 5:33 (KJV)
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:26 (KJV)
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Matthew 17:20 (KJV)
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
Mark 11:24 (KJV)
“And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
Luke 18:27 (KJV)
So, if we are down or depressed, if we can only remember Proverbs 17:22 and other verses that encourage us to find joy in the Lord. It will be better for us not only emotionally, but also physically and spiritually as well. Before we think, “Oh, it is not my fault I am depressed. I can’t just be happy”, we have to remember that only part of that is partially true. The cause of our depression may not be something we did or created. And, while we may not be able to “just be happy”, all things are possible with God. We can’t do anything alone and that is good to remember. However, we need to pray and call on God for help. He can help us find the joy we need. We need to remember that as well.
Thank you for being our Father in heaven. Thank you for loving in a way that we couldn’t even imagine. We know that you are a loving God, a Father of all Fathers, and we know that you only want what is best for us. If we are down and depressed, either for a short time or chronically, help us to remember your infinite love and to call on you to bring us out of our depression. Help us to find joy in You, Lord. Help us to remember your Word, in Proverbs 17:22 in times us despair. Be our strength and hold on for us, when we don’t know how ourselves. Touch our mind, our heart, and our spirit, so that we can see and appreciate your work in our life. Help us to reach up to you, even when we don’t think we have the strength to reach anywhere at all. Help us to find the hope and joy you want us to find. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Proverbs 17:22 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 17:22 mean to me?
*Am I happy in life?
*Do I have a positive or negative outlook on life?
*Do I handle stress well or do I let stress handle me?
*What can I do to live according to the words in Proverbs 17:22 better?
*When I am down, do I pray and ask God to help me through it?
*What can I do to remember to rely on God instead of letting things get me
*What can I do better in order to have a “merry heart”?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so thankful that you are here. I pray that you are blessed by the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. And, if you are depressed or down, I pray that this particular post touches you in a special way and I pray that you reach out to God for help, strength, and joy. He can help. Whether He helps supernaturally or gives you help through a verse, a thought, a song, a friend, or whatever, He can help. And, most of all, He WANTS to help. He loves you greatly!
Please, feel free to comment below or contact me. Feel free to share your story, leave a prayer for those who may be suffering from depression or hardship, or just to let me know your thoughts on Proverbs 17:22.
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.