Proverbs 17:22 - A Merry, Joyful, Happy, Cheerful Heart Is Like Medicine.
Proverbs 17:22 - A Merry, Joyful, Happy, Cheerful Heart Is Like
Proverbs 17:22 (KJV) A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 (NASB) A joyful heart is good medicine, But a
broken spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 (ESV) A joyful heart is good medicine, but a
crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 (NRSV) A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a
downcast spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 (NIV) A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a
crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 (NLT) A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a
broken spirit saps a person's strength.
Proverbs 17:22 (NCV) A happy heart is like good medicine, but a
broken spirit drains your strength.
Happiness is caused by things that happen around me and
circumstances will mar it; but joy flows right on through trouble; joy flows
on through the dark.... It is an unceasing fountain bubbling up in
the heart. D. L. Moody (1837-1899)
Joy is a central characteristic of the Christian - and yet so
many know nothing of it. They are under the lash of duty and not
unabashed delight. They are artificial, not artesian. Someone once
described such Christians as "creaking in body and soul as they limp along
the highway toward glory." They walk the road to glory, but they are
certainly not walking the glory road.
The word "joy" (Greek: chara) is a strong and robust word. It
is not resignation wearing a wan smile. It means a joy that is
exuberant and overflowing. The summons to rejoice is sounded no less than
seventy times in the New Testament, and the word chara [joy] occurs
close to sixty times. The New Testament is a book of joy. Dr. William
Barclay says that joy is the distinguishing atmosphere of the Christian
life. He wrote: "We may put it this way - whatever the ingredients of
Christian experience and in whatever proportions they are mixed together,
joy is one of them."
Even in the first year after the death of my wife, I was
wonderfully conscious of Christ's joy quietly breaking through the layers of
my sadness and grief. Joy is always present in the heart of a
Christian. It may not always be felt or recognized - but it is always
there. And eventually it will break the surface, no matter what our
situation or our circumstances. I have always maintained that joy is an
inevitable part of the Christian life. Now I am sure. Oh, so very sure.
Father, thank You for reminding me that when joy has its
roots in You, then its fruits will eventually appear - no matter what
happens. Eternal honor and praise be to Your wonderful name. Amen. [Every
Day With Jesus Bible with Selwyn Hughes devotional re Pro. 15:13]
This verse describes the positive benefits to our physical
bodies when the inner person of the heart is happy. It also describes
the opposite effect: when we are depressed or sad for an extended
length of time, it is detrimental to our physical health and strength.
When I pondered this verse on a not-so-happy day, it made me think,
"Why am I not cheerful? Where has my joy gone?" Nine times out of ten
I have been fretting about circumstances - which may not be all
that happy - instead of focusing on my relationship with Jesus. Life
isn't always a feast of pleasant experiences. We can't control the
ways our days unfold or muster up a cheerful heart on our own, but we
can pour our energies into knowing and loving Jesus, the source of
all joy, and lifting his name high in good times and bad. When he
and his kingdom are our focus, he provides what we need in those
other situations and circumstances (Matthew 6:33), and he fills us
with true cheerfulness, hope, and joy.
LORD, I want to have a cheerful heart, not a broken spirit.
Help me to focus today on you and not on the circumstances I see
around me. As you help me to do that by your Spirit, I will know and
experience your true joy in my heart and Life. [Praying Through The Bible
The circumstances of our lives can be up or down, but a
cheerful heart isn't at the mercy of circumstances. If we are able to
take a step back and deliberately bring our attention to the things
that are going right in our lives, the blessings we have, we can find
something to rejoice in. During certain seasons filled with hardship, we
may have to look hard for the blessings, but they are there. We
don't pretend that the cancer or the financial struggle isn't
happening, but we choose gratefulness for the blessings that are also
there: for friendships or family or home or the constant presence of a
A popular saying is that life is 10 percent what happens to
us and 90 percent how we react to it. So we have a choice to react
by focusing on what we can be thankful for. Even if it's difficult,
Proverbs 17:22 says a cheerful heart is good medicine.
"Where you bring your attention determines how you feel," Dr.
Daniel Amen says, "and feeling grateful is a joyous place to be." If we
choose cheerfulness as our dominant outlook on life, our body and soul
will benefit. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day Devotional]
More and more scientific research supports the healthy way of
living described in the Bible. You undoubtedly already know about the
value of eating the proper foods, drinking enough good water, getting
an adequate amount of rest, breathing plenty of fresh air, and
exercising regularly. But have you ever thought about the health-giving
value of being merry? Having a merry heart is more than just being
happy and content. Merriment also includes having a sense of humor and
the ability to laugh.
Some sad souls have gone so far as to advise that "true"
Christians should always be serious and never laugh. But that is not what
the Bible teaches. In fact, according to our text for today, the
bones of such a person may end up prematurely dry - as in dead.
Recent research has provided a direct link between merriment
and health. It turns out that a merry heart actually makes you less
likely to get sick because it improves the functioning of your immune
system. Your body is then better able to prevent, as well as to fight,
disease. For example, someone with a cheerful attitude toward life is
less likely to have such stress-related health problems as ulcers and
cold sores than is someone with a gloomy outlook on life. "Mirthful
laughter" actually reduces the chemical factors associated with stress in
the body. Your body is able to heal itself and make you feel better
faster. Rather than adopt a happy attitude, however, some people feel
more comfortable asking a pharmacist for a pill to treat their
symptoms when all they need is a good laugh.
By the way, when we talk about merriment here, we are not
talking about silliness. Silly chatter and giggling often are associated
with cruel or inappropriate jokes or gossip. Laughter that comes at
the expense of other people does not create a merry heart-and it
certainly is not health-producing.
A merry heart does you good-like a medicine. And unlike pills
and syrups, you don't have to swallow it. It's natural, and it's
free. [Nature Quest by J & P Tucker]
In recent years, grants have been awarded to 125 hospitals,
nursing homes, and other agencies to start humor programs for their
patients. Specifically, here's what a little laughter can do for you:
Laughter helps you relax and unwind. Just try lifting
anything heavy when you are enjoying a good belly laugh. You cannot do it
because your large muscles are totally relaxed. The only ones working
are some muscles in your face and your abdomen.
Laughter strengthens the immune system. Research shows that
when you have a really good laugh, the body produces more
immunoglobulin A, the body's warrior against upper respiratory infections.
Laughter improves your circulation by increasing the heart
rate and boosting the oxygen supply to the brain. This is part of
what helps you relax and calm down.
Laughter is a way to live an enriched life instead of just
maintaining your existence, getting through each day somehow. Laughter is a
key to finding pleasure, and when you have to endure mental and
emotional pain, you need all the pleasure you can get. I am not talking
about being "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Tim.
3:4), or "enjoy[ing] the passing pleasures of sin" (Heb. 11:25). Those
verses describe the kind of hedonism that leaves God out, but there are
unlimited legitimate pleasures you can enjoy by letting God in. For
example: enjoying a tasty meal, listening to favorite music, watching the
embers of a fire, marveling at the leaves turning color in the fall,
and seeing the humor that is all around us.
All of these are pleasure-moments God wants us to enjoy, and
we can do so if we learn to fine-tune the pleasure channels of our
lives to His frequency. by Barbara Johnson [Passages Of Life SB]
A recent study reported in the journal Psychological Science
claims that the intensity of your smile in your photographs is a
reliable predictor of how long you might live. How come I have a sudden
urge to start looking through my family albums so I can score how
many of my pictures have that huge ear-to-ear grin or happy-go-lucky
smile? The research scored the smile intensity in pictures of hundreds
of professional baseball players. Since health and longevity
records were being compared with smile intensity, the researchers used
only players who had begun their major league careers before 1950.
The athletes who showed up in pictures with the biggest smiles had
only half the risk of dying compared to those with a straight face.
We have long known about the detrimental effects of stress.
But what about the positive effects of a light and happy spirit? The
health effects of humor first broke into my consciousness when Norman
Cousins, a noted author, editor, and speaker, wrote his famous Anatomy of
an illness (first published in 1979). Cousins, who suffered from
heart disease and painful joint inflammation, described the healing
effects of laughter. Since Cousins brought attention to the issue, the
scientific literature on laughter and healing increased exponentially. It
appears now that having the biblical "merry heart" increases health;
reduces the risk of heart disease; decreases the incidence of heart
arrhythmias; speeds healing after heart attacks; elevates growth hormone;
decreases cortisol, dopamine, and epinephrine (all stress factors);
enhances immunological health by increasing the activity of natural
killer cells and immunoglobulins; and increases longevity. In fact,
many major hospitals now have a clown care unit or something
equivalent in which specially trained clowns assist children undergoing
serious testing or treatment. For as Groucho Marx once quipped: "A clown
is like an aspirin, only he works twice as fast." Proverbs 15:30
suggests that simply putting on a happy face changes how I feel inside
and brings health and healing. Oh, the power that is mine when I
realize that I can choose to discipline my thoughts, think positively,
and put on my happy face every day.
Lord, teach me to trust You totally. I choose to give You my
cares. I choose to forgive those who have caused me pain. I choose to
put on that happy face that brings joy to the heart and healing to
my bones. [God of Wonders by David Steen]
Do you want to make a difference in your world today? One
simple action - smiling - will do it. You might think that a smile
isn't really that important, but let me tell you about some simple
experiments performed by a psychologist in New York City that may change
A young woman who was doing smile research would stand
waiting for an elevator in a department store. When another woman came
to ride the elevator also, the researcher would simply smile at her
but would say nothing. Once in the elevator, the researcher asked
the other woman for directions. The interesting finding was that
when smiled at by the researcher the other person would provide the
requested assistance much more often than if she had not first been given
a smile before boarding the elevator. There may be a number of
explanations as to why the experiment worked the way it did, but the only
planned difference in the two situations was whether or not a smile was
A smile is so easy to produce. You all know how to do it. In
fact, smiling comes naturally to babies, not because they see other
people smile, but because they come "programmed" to smile - babies who
are blind from birth smile at the same age as those who can see.
People can create ugly smiles, but those are sneers and leers. When you
give the world the real smiles that you are born with, you make those
around you feel better; and, since it is hard for you to be grumpy when
you are smiling, you feel better too!
With all that we as Christians have to be thankful for, we
should never stop smiling in our hearts. And those heart smiles will
often erupt onto our faces, giving us a special radiance resulting
from feeling the joy of Jesus deep in our heart. Do you know the
song, "Sing and Smile and Pray..."? Those three things go together.
When you have talked to Jesus about things He keeps you singing; and
when you have a song in your heart your face will surely show it.
[Glimpses Of God's Love by J & P Tucker]
Laughter is good for you. It lowers the flow of dangerous
stress hormones in your body, eases digestion, and soothes
stomachaches, a common symptom of chronic stress. So if you are under stress,
consider relaxing with a comedy instead of a drama. Even better, spend
some time with friends who bring out the lighter side of life.
If laughter doesn't come easily to you, ask yourself why that
is the case. One possibility is that you're holding on to your
worries instead of entrusting them to God. "Cast all your anxiety on him
because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
Another possibility is that you're grieving a loss. There's a
time for grief, and it's healthy to grieve. Be sure you're in a
process of working through your grief with the help of others, and
giving yourself grace in the process. Friends and entertainment that
give you a break from sorrow might even be helpful as you move
Otherwise, find out what pokes your funny bone, and let it
ease your stress. Laughter truly is good medicine for the body and
the soul. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day Devotional]
My dog is chronically, maddeningly happy. His tail wags
incessantly, which causes me to describe him as having a "happy ending:" No
matter what his day brings, it doesn't change his joyful outlook on
life. Personally, I had perfected the art of moaning and groaning and
practiced it religiously. I was so adept at spiritlessness that I could
instantly sap my strength and the strength of anyone else within shouting
My prognosis was not pretty, so I was referred to a spiritual
cardiologist who specialized in cheerful hearts. His exhaustive examination
dictated radical treatment to snatch me from the jaws of certain death.
The bottom of my heart was identified as the diseased area. I was
quarantined to the highly infectious wards of "Daily Laughter" and
"Delighting in the Little Things:" My prescription was to forcibly readjust
my eyesight from my problems and look to God as my focused
destination. After months of rehabilitative metamorphosis, I emerged and was
issued an XXL calculator to count my abundant blessings, joys, and
forgiven sins with pinpoint accuracy and proficiency. My Great Physician,
pronouncing me healed (and sealed), released me back into the "wild:" I
fluttered down to the first challenge, wondering whether I was healthy
enough to face the infected, dejected world.
Cured I was-quite permanently! And I was imbued with the
spiritual immunity to defeat any cracks appearing in my armor while
engaging in warfare. Once plagued with Broken Spirit Syndrome, I'm now
completely recovered and dangerously contagious.
Susan M. Watkins, an author and Bible teacher, is a former
writer for The 700 Club. [The One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional]
It had been a stressful day. Len dropped into his easy chair
and retreated behind the newspaper. After unwinding with the funnies
and the sports, he would be ready to enjoy the family at dinner.
Sara had a different idea. In eager anticipation, our
five-year-old niece asked her uncle to take her for a "horsey ride."
Len kindly requested that she wait until after dinner. She
willingly accepted postponed gratification and began rocking her teddy
bear for a few minutes. Soon Sara approached him with increasing
fervor. "Uncle Len, pieeease take me for a horsey ride."
"Let me rest a little longer." So she rocked Teddy a few more
The third time she approached him, Sara pulled down the
newspaper. In an authoritative voice, she insisted, "Uncle Len, you have to
have fun whether you like it or not!"
So he got down on his hands and knees and took her for a
bumpy ride. (Why bumpy? Have you ever tried crawling on your hands and
knees while laughing?)
As I laughed from the kitchen, biblical illustrations came to
mind. I thought of the story in Luke 11:5-13, in which the neighbor
demanded that his tired friend give him some bread.
A cheerful heart had transformed a tired uncle into a willing
and energetic stallion. I wonder how many of my childish requests my
Father finds humorous. I do know he answers prayers and enjoys blessing
his children. Barbara Ferguson
Father, thank you for teaching me so many things about my
relationship with you through experiences of children. Thank you for your
patience and your encouragement to share my concerns with you, especially
when I become impatient. Thank you for your many blessings, including
the blessing of humor to neutralize stress. I love you, Father, and
enjoy being with you, even in my childish way. Amen. [The One Year
Devotional of Joy and Laughter by Mary Hollingsworth]
A little girl was eating her breakfast one morning when a ray
of sunlight suddenly appeared through the clouds and reflected off
the spoon in her cereal bowl. She immediately put it into her mouth.
With a big smile she exclaimed to her mother, "I just swallowed a
spoonful of sunshine!"
A spoonful of sunshine just may be the best "soul food" a
person can have in a day. A prominent surgeon once wrote, "Encourage
your child to be merry and to laugh aloud. A good, hearty laugh
expands the chest and makes the blood bound merrily along. A good laugh
will sound right through the house. It will not only do your child
good, but will be a benefit to all who hear, and be an important means
of driving the blues away from a dwelling. Merriment is very
catching, and spreads in a remarkable manner, few being able to resist the
contagion. A hearty laugh is delightful harmony; indeed it is the best of
An old poem advises: "If you are on the Gloomy Line, the
Worry Train, or the Grouchy Track, get a transfer! It's time to climb
aboard the Sunshine Train and sit in one of its Cheerful Cars." [God's
Little Devotional Bible]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE AND TOPIC:
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDY:
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
LINKS FOR PROPHECY SEMINARS:
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug Batchelor (new series!):
Revelation Today by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: