A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
Proverbs 17:22, NLT*
I’ve had both a cheerful heart and a broken spirit. I much prefer the cheerful heart!
What interests me about this verse today is the good medicine. Nobody takes medicine when they’re well, but we usually have a few spiritual “germs” in our systems that need fighting.
We’re called to take every thought captive under Christ’s authority, focus on praising God, and not dwell on the negatives. But we can’t manufacture a cheerful heart or mend a broken spirit.
Who gives us a cheerful heart? Who binds up our broken spirits? It’s God.
Our part is to cultivate an openness to Him, to receive what He has for us, to discover Him to be our source of healing and light. And to choose to obey. After all, according to the King James translation, Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Father God, our Healer and Sustainer, grant us cheerful hearts—based on Your goodness, not on our circumstances. Let them be a tonic when we’re in good space, and let them be medicine when times are hard. And when our spirits crack and break, bind us up and renew us, heal our hearts and plant cheer in them again to make us strong.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Linked with Wednesday’s Word.