A Reason For Optimism

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

The Bible isn’t a psychology textbook, but it gives us the wisest counsel for experiencing happiness here and now. Proverbs 17:22, for example, assures us that “a merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”

That simple statement was recently corroborated by the extensive research of Dr. Daniel Mark, a heart specialist at Duke University. The New York Times article that reported his findings carried this headline: “Optimism Can Mean Life for Heart Patients and Pessimism Death.” The article begins with these words: “A healthy outlook helps heal the heart.”

But Dr. Nancy Frasure-Smith, a heart specialist who has studied the effect of depression, anxiety, and anger, admitted, “We don’t know how to change negative emotions.”

Faith in God, however, can produce that change. People who look beyond their present difficulty and put their trust in God’s goodness cannot help but be joyful.

It’s significant that our Savior said on several occasions, “Be of good cheer” (Matthew 9:2,22; 14:27; Acts 23:11). Knowing that life is filled with many crises, He encourages us with this word of reassurance: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Vernon C. Grounds   

All your anxiety, all your care
  Bring to the mercy seat, leave it there;
  Never a burden He cannot bear,
  Never a friend like Jesus.

Joy

No matter what happens, you can find joy in the Lord.

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