Devotional: ‘Look on the Lighter Side’

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

During times of trouble it is natural to be filled with sadness. Yet if we are not careful, such sadness can overwhelm us. It can take complete control of our inner most being and drive us into deep depression. Some who have studied depression believe that it is the prolonged state of sadness that often produces the chemical imbalance and not necessarily the chemical imbalance that produces the state of sadness. In other words – “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (see Pr 23:7)

This is not to say that we will always be laughing. Solomon tells us that for everything there is a proper season – “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” (Ecc 3:4) Although we must recognize that there are seasons of sadness, we must also recognize that sadness is to be with us only for a season. Just as the barrenness of winter must give way to the new life of spring; sadness must eventually give way to God’s new blessings.

Recently I read this – While the average child laughs 150 times a day, say researchers at the University of Michigan, the average adult laughs only 15 times. (Youth Worker Update, Signs of the Times, August, 1993, p. 6)

Some might say – “Sure, children can laugh; they do not have to shoulder the burdens of life that we as adults do.” Yet is not this the underlying principle of Christ’s words about worry?

Matthew 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink ? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed ? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Is not true faith – childlike?

Perhaps today you are carrying a heavy burden. Even as you are reading this devotional, reality has reminded you that your problems are real. Today is not a day when you can be totally care-free; yet today does not have to be a day when happiness has to be completely absent. There is some humor in almost every situation. Therefore, rather than dwelling only on the dark side; seek to spend some time in the light. Be the one who brightens up the situation with a bit of humor. Perhaps a merry heart will be the best medicine.