How to Have a Merry Heart
INTRODUCTION: In Proverbs 17:22, we have what is referred to as "antithetical parallelism." Antithetical parallelism is where the second line or paragraph speaks of the same subject but in an opposite way: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."
Have you ever been going along, just having a grand time, enjoying life, your heart is in tune with God, maybe you've had some wonderful spiritually uplifting moments; and then, like a lightening bolt out of the sky, something happens, and before you know it, you are about as low as you can go? If you are not careful, this is where the last part of the verse comes is: "A broken spirit drieth the bones." The Hebrew word for "drieth" in this verse simply means the same as it would in English: "to dry up (as water) or wither away."
Our chief aim, as Christians, is to try to focus on the first part of the verse, having the "merry heart." Believe it or not, we can have a merry heart in spite of the storms in our lives. It has to do with our attitude and the spiritual condition of our heart.
There are some people who seem to be eternal optimists; they always see the good in something, even when things are not going well. They tend to be the people who accentuate the positive. On the other hand, there are those who see things differently. When tough times come, and the spirit is broken, they see the worst in things. They are kind of like Charlie Brown, who said, "I have a new philosophy. I'm going to dread one day at a time."
I submit to you; if we can learn to look at things in a positive light (regardless of the circumstances), then we can have the "merry heart." What did Paul say in
Philippians. 4:4? He said, Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."
This morning, I would like for us to look at three things, as we consider our message, "How to Have a Merry Heart."
I. Having a Rela ...
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