“A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.”
(Proverbs 17:22, NASB).
There is nothing more pleasant when greeted with a warm smile when first meeting someone. There are eight smiles that I have come to appreciate from people over the years. FIRST, there is the smile of warmth and interest; SECOND, the mischievous smile of playfulness; THIRD, the smile of determination; FOURTH, the flirtatious smile; FIFTH, the smile of compassion; SIXTH, the smile of love and endearment; SEVENTH, the smile of joyfulness; EIGHTH, the smile of innocence. All such smiles like the many facets of a diamond are beautiful to behold. Not only that, they are penetrating. They leave their mark on us, they impact us in ways that move our emotions in a positive manner. Who doesn’t like a beautiful smile? Smiles are the currency people enjoy in relationships, whether close or distant. Today’s text says, “A joyful heart is good medicine…” A genuine smile, or a person who smiles a lot bares evidence to a “joyful heart.” It is hard to smile when depression poisons and darkens the heart, as the text says, “but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Or I like how the NLT puts it, “a broken spirit saps a person's strength.” The great news is joy acts like a medicine, it restores the strength that a depressed and broken spirit robs us of; for joyfulness is the elixir that heals and brightens the heart. Now I’m not talking about the fickle joy of the world, I’m talking about the firm joy of the Lord. How fitting are Nehemiah’s words here, “for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10, NASB). I don’t know about you dear reader, but this sure brings a smile to my face.
Lord, you are the true Author of joy. The world’s view of joy depends on happenings, whereas true joy is from You. This joy is not depended on happenings, but rather draws its strength from the Lord above; thank you Lord Jesus that you are my source of joy, Amen.