June 22: “A Broken Spirit and a Joyful Heart”

3 Minute Read


2 Kings 3:1–4:17
Acts 14:8-28
Psalm 140:1-13
Proverbs 17:22


Proverbs 17:22 (CSB): “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”


I’m going to be quite a bit transparent in this post as I write it on Thursday evening (6/20).

I’ve heard parents talk about the pain of having a child leave home. I’ve also heard of the proverbial sadness that comes from the empty nest syndrome. I thought I understood the pain … but now realize that I had no clue.

I’m experiencing it firsthand right now. Kim and I now know what it feels like. We said goodbye to our oldest son on Monday and then said goodbye to our second son on Tuesday.

Most normal families experience this. We raise our kids to make the most of their lives. Then, they grow up and leave home.

In our case, they left as we were leaving, too.

I know that Kim and I are slowly getting to a better emotional state but right now it hurts. It hurts really bad.

Here’s a snapshot of the letter I sent to Sean today as he is entrenched in his first week of basic training:

I know what today’s Proverb is talking about when it says that a bad mental/emotional state affects our bodies because my body is tired. Kim and I have a lot going on right now with a recent move, two new jobs, and so much more. Missing our boys just adds to the mix and we find that we are requiring a little more sleep right now.

Our emotional condition really is affecting our physical condition as is talked about in the following Proverb.

Proverbs 17:22 (CSB): “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

So, how do we get a joyful heart, especially when life gets hard?

  • Stay close to the Lord. Spend time in His Word, time in prayer, and refuse to engage in sin (it will steal your experience of closeness to the Lord [1 John 1:3,6]).
  • Learn to be thankful for every good thing as you receive it from the Lord (James 1:17). See His hand in every good thing that happens and make it a point to thank Him for it.
  • Look forward to the joys of Heaven. There are certainly reasons to be happy here on earth but there are also plenty of times when life gets hard, sometimes really hard. So, look toward your heavenly reward (Hebrews 11:26).

There are many other actions that you can engage in to cultivate a joyful heart. But these are the three things that are the most applicable to me right now.

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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