Our Daily Bread
November 9, 1998

Good Medicine

Read: Proverbs 15:13-17

A merry heart does good, like medicine. --Proverbs 17:22

As I was growing up, my wise Christian mother often quoted Proverbs 17:22, "A merry heart does good, like medicine." Usually she did this when I needed to change my attitude. Would I allow a negative spirit to poison my thinking, or would I embrace an outlook of thankfulness and its resulting joy?

She would smile at me and say, "A merry heart does good, like medicine." That was it. No sermon, no lecture, just seven words about the phenomenal value of God-produced happiness that springs from deep inside.

In Proverbs 15 we also read, "A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance" (v.13). The state of my heart determines the look on my face.

Then, in verse 15 we read, "All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast." When circumstances yield discouragement, I can still eat from God's rich banquet table of love. That's because no matter what life gives me, God can "put gladness in my heart" (Ps. 4:7).

My mother believed that if I stopped complaining and began thanking God for the possibilities at hand, I could have the powerful medicine of a merry heart.

I think she was right. --DCM

Rejoice in Him, again, again,
The Spirit speaks the word,
And faith takes up the happy strain:
Our joy is in the Lord. --Peters

If you have Jesus in your heart, notify your face!

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