Pr 17:22 NKJV “A merry heart does good, like medicine.”
The Bible says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine,but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Do you know that laughter is such goodmedicine that it can relieve stress, cure headaches, fight infections, andalleviate hypertension? Doctors tell us laughing produces physical benefitssimilar to the benefits we get from vigorous physical exercise. When you throwyour head back and laugh out loud, the muscles in the abdomen, chest,shoulders, and elsewhere in your body contract, while your heart rate and bloodpressure increase. Just one burst of laughter can cause your pulse rate todouble from 60 to 120, while your systolic blood pressure can shoot from anormal 120 to 200. Then once you stop laughing your heartbeat and bloodpressure dip below normal—signaling reduced stress. God created laughterbecause He knows it’s good for your health. Don’t, however, confuse happinesswith merriment. Merriment comes from joy, not happiness, and understanding thisis crucial to your emotional well-being. There are times when we can’t andshouldn’t be happy—when people are hurting, going through tragedy, or losingjobs and loved ones. In the face of injustice happiness is inappropriate, ifnot impossible. Yet the joy that comes from knowing that you areunconditionally loved and accepted by God enables you to remain joyful. That’sbecause: (1) Happiness is external; joy is internal. (2) Happiness depends onoutward circumstances; joy depends on inward character. (3) Happiness dependson what happens to us; joy depends on who lives within us. (4) Happiness isbased on chance; joy is based on choice. So today—choose joy!
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