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A Joyful Heart

Prov. 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

I have made it a point to laugh whenever I can lately. I try to tell corny jokes, laugh with my kids, and even laugh at myself. Being joyful is truly good medicine. Just today, Science Daily just published an article with research from Georgia State University about the health benefits of laughter. The Mayo Clinic published an article earlier this year, also extolling the benefits of laughter.

The proverb above was set to music by CCM artist Steve Green in music tape that my kids enjoyed growing up. This Youtube video is a fun illustration of this verse.

One of my favorite websites lately is Babylon Bee. While pushing the envelope with satire at times, they never cease to amaze me with their ability to make fun of what we do as Christians. My current favorite is their latest “discovery” about what Selah means!

My current favorite video is “HOW IT’S MADE: Christian Music” seen here on Youtube.

Keep laughing – it is good medicine.

13 comments to A Joyful Heart

  • Mikayla Bush

    I wholeheartedly agree that sometimes when we’re extremely stressed (which most college students tend to be at some point in the semester) laughter is the best medicine. When I’m stressed I have several YouTube videos that I watch to lighten the mood and distract me from my ever-growing to-do list. I also subscribe to the Babylon Bee and frequently find myself laughing at their satirical articles even when they hit a little too close to home at times.

  • Zachary S Chin

    I also agreed. In addition, I’m really glad you refered to laughter as “good medicine,” not as “the best medicine.” The intro Proverb might make it easy to believe that a “joyful heart” will solve our emotional and spiritual issues. But I believe we must remember that our joy is in the Lord, and we should not attempt to replace true joy with the temporary delight in earthly pleasures.

  • Jared Dickerson

    This is a great reminder of something that we often forget in our busy lives today. I know I personally become too distracted with everything I have going on and get really stressed out a lot. Sometimes just taking a break to watch a funny video or joke around with your friends can mean a world of difference. I haven’t heard that song since I was in Sunday school, and it reminded me of how happy I was as a kid. It reminded me of the importance of having a joyful heart. We as adults need to try and remember that a little bit of “good medicine” can go a long way!

  • Sarah Stricker

    I truly believe that joy comes from Jesus. While we can find joy in the world, this joy is only temporary. As a follower of Christ we can have true joy. I believe that joy comes from a hope and Jesus offers us an eternal hope.

    ” But as for me, I will always have hope, I will praise you more and more”
    Psalm 71:14

    When we have hope we have joy, we have a promise from God. When we place our hope, our joy and our expectations in the world it is not eternal, and it is not promised. When these things are gone we lose our joy. With hope in christ, we have the promise of eternal joy. Even in the moments when it feels impossible to have joy. When we lose a loved one, or get bad news from the doctor. It is easy to lose joy, but this is when we rely on God for our joy.

    “So with you: now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” John 16:22

    In the moments of our life when we are at the “top of the mountain” when life seems to be going as we have hoped and dreamed. When we feel Gods blessings being poured upon us, it is easy to have joy. When we are at the bottom of the mountain and we feel lost. When we feel in pain and we feel like God isn’t even around, it will feel impossible to have joy. In this moment we rely on God. We ask God to give us joy, because in these moments the only substantial joy will come from God.

  • Jeremiah Selle

    Joy is contagious. Real happiness and peace overflowing from Jesus’s heart muffles and suffocates negativity in our lives. Negativity exposes a defeat and pessimism within the hearts of man. But a positive, humorous, joyful spirit reveals and testifies to the endless victory we have in Jesus.

    I believe that life was not meant to be lived in sadness, depression, and constant seriousness. God created humor for people to spice up and lighten the burdens and struggles that we face on a daily basis.

    Proverbs 15:13 discusses the vitality of having a joyful and cheerful heart by saying, “A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.”

    There is no doubt God gave us joy and humor for life. We must intentionally live in a way that loves to live, laugh, and love.

  • Nicholas Panachyda

    While I agree that laughter is a wonderful thing, we must also be sensitive to those around us. My father is guilty of not being aware that sometimes the situation is not made better by joking. And thats not always a bad thing. There are times when it is necessary to have a somber moment. So yes, laughter can be very beneficial, you should take into consideration that it may have a negative effect on those around you

  • Macy McClain

    I love to laugh! This is definitely more difficult for those people who are not extroverts by nature, but it certainly can be done. Another good Scripture passage talks about how weeping will endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Christ is the one who gives us joy, and we in turn should pass that onto others. Keep laughing! I love the Babylon Bee! 🙂

  • Josiah Smith

    Thank you for this reminder. I think such a simple truth is too often forgotten. I know in my own life I often get overwhelmed with the stresses this life has to offer and allow it to take away my joy and laughter. Your post is simple, but it displays a helpful truth.

  • Seth Brummer

    Laughter is a very healthy thing, to be sure!
    And while I agree with Mikayla and a lot of the others about the joy we have (and are to continue to have) in our salvation, I also believe that we as Christians have a tendency to undervalue sadness.
    Granted, I’m not suggesting that everything has to be dark and depressing and serious all the time, but on the other hand, lament and sadness are not things that the church necessarily does well.
    We are instructed by Scripture to rejoice with those who rejoice, certainly, but we should not forget to weep with those who weep.
    Food for thought…

  • Steve Murphy

    Even though serious study and thought are important, I enjoy light-hearted humor and laughter whenever I have the opportunity. Tomorrow, I get to read Scripture in church. I’ll be reading John 21:1-14, which is the story of Jesus appearing to the disciples for the third time after the resurrection. The disciples fish all night, don’t catch anything, and then Jesus tells them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat, after which they catch 153 fish. As I was reading the story, I noticed that even though Jesus enables the disciples to have an abundant catch, he already has breakfast ready when they get to shore!
    Makes me chuckle 😀

  • Jules Schieferstein

    Trying to be joyful has been a major goal of my own lately as well. I’ve been trying to remind myself constantly of just the amazing hope and joy we can find by our salvation in Christ. Honestly Jeremiah put it best earlier, having a happy and truly joyful spirit shows the victory we have in Christ, but a defeated spirit is not something a Christian should be living with. Thanks for the post Dr. O!

    And yes, the Babylon Bee is great!!!

  • Mitchell McIntyre

    I sincerely agree! being joyful was and still is one of my personal struggles. Its staggering to look around (and in a mirror) and see Christians being no more joyful (many times less joyful) than others around us. We have so many reasons to be joyful and to be without joy is a terrible testimony of the salvation we have though Christ. Beyond that it is really just healthy for body and soul to laugh and smile. One of my favorite things about my home church is that we take ministry seriously but we have a ridiculous amount of fun doing so. Whether its laughing at your own funny mistakes or at a story someone told laughter truly does brighten your day and change your attitude.

  • Brittney Mitchell

    Thank you so much for this!!! I have greatly struggled with laughing at things because i have trained myself to be wound up so tight that I feel as though I have sinned if I am having fun. What life is that? A pretty pathetic one. And for what? Earthly success?