A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Prov. 17:22 ESV)
Joy in the heart of a person is good medicine for his body. This is God speaking. In simple words, He is saying joy in a person’s heart has an impact on the health of their body. Similarly, when the spirit is crushed or broken with sorrow, grief or depression, the bones of the person dry up, meaning their body withers with disease like a dry tree.
It is vital for us to understand the importance of joy in our lives as Christians. It is not merely a fruit of the Spirit for you to bear to please God, which is true. It has an impact on you. We should guard our hearts with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life. Where the heart goes, the body will follow.
The word “heart” in scripture can refer to the spirit of man, the soul of man or both. The context will tell you to make the difference. In whatever case, your emotions are part of your heart. The Lord is saying we should watch our feelings. When people’s hearts are full of pain, hurts, bitterness, brokenness, depression, sorrow, their body will be placed on a self-destructive course. A crushed spirit dries the bones. You may find people who have all sorts of diagnoses in their bodies as if their bodies are falling apart. Medical science obviously will have an explanation but what is happening to them may be beyond the realms of science. It is the impact of a crushed heart on the body.
As you pay attention to exercise and healthy eating, the Lord is reminding you that you should also pay attention to the state of your heart. If the heart is crushed, exercise or healthy eating will not help you.
Preserve you joy. You have an advantage as a Christian, the unbeliever has no source of joy. You have the joy of the Lord in your spirit. Rejoice evermore, again I say rejoice! ( Phil. 4:4)
What is the difference between the “heart” and the “spirit”?
APPLY THE WORD
Are you a joyful Christian? Do not set yourself up for failure by neglecting your joy. Rejoice always in your God. It is not a denial of natural circumstances. It is faith in our Father!
Ask the Lord to help you maintain your joy at every instant in your life.