“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22
There is something miraculously healing about smiling … and laughter … and giggling … and a contented chuckle or two. Not only does a merry heart have the capacity to heal you but it is also contagious. The joy that you express often is “caught” in the very best sense by others.
This word “joyful” in the ancient Hebrew is actually translated as “expressing joy, or rejoicing”. You must express the joy for it to heal you! You must rejoice out loud in the presence of others for the miracle to begin!
When a person deals with a lengthy and dark depression, often it becomes impossible to smile, or grin or giggle infectiously. Allow me to challenge you today to smile even if you don’t feel like it. Break out in a grin not because you feel like it but in spite of how you feel.
When I was a melancholy teen-ager, my father used to kindly say to me, “Smile, Carol! Your face won’t break! Neither will your heart!”
That was good advice to a morose adolescent and it is GREAT advice to all of us today who deal with emotional grayness. Find something to smile about and find someone to smile at – you will find that it is the beginning of your own healing.
Now, please … do not discount this advice. Do not be so wrapped up in your own emotional pain, that you begin to justify yourself by saying, “This won’t work for me.” It will work … it may take some practice … but eventually it will work. You can try to argue with the Bible and minimize its power – men and women from every generation have tried to make the exact same argument. It didn’t work for them and it won’t work for you!
So … take some advice from an old pro and put on a happy face!
MAKING IT PRACTICAL-
1 – You know the routine by now but don’t underestimate its importance! Add to your “Thanksgiving in January and February!” list by adding 3 more things for which you are incredibly grateful! #beatdepression!
2 – Every time you make eye contact with someone today – smile. Look up some humorous stories or jokes on the internet and share them with the people with whom you work or at the family dinner table. Send out an e-mail to some of your closest friends with a cute story or a joke in it. Recall a happy childhood memory and share it with a friend or a family member. Today, your assignment is to “be happy out loud!”
I declare today that I will express joy regardless of my circumstances. I will not allow the pain of my past or my disappointment with today dictate my level of joy. I will rejoice in the Lord today because He has made this day for me!
PRAYER FOR TODAY –
“Dear Jesus, I do love you very much and I believe that Your Word is true. Father God, I pray today that You would restore to me the joy of Your salvation. I pray that I would be an encouragement to everyone that I meet. Give me divine appointments with people who need to see a cheerful countenance or a friendly face. I am Yours and I pray that You would use me today and every day! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.”