A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Proverbs 15:13 (NKJV)
A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 (NKJV)
These verses make it very clear that a merry heart is good for our physical well-being. However, when we go through emotionally painful and traumatic experiences, it is difficult to have a merry heart. That, in turn, can seriously affect our physical and spiritual health!
Medical and scientific research has found that laughter reduces stress hormones and boosts the immune system. It also lowers blood pressure and reduces pain. Once again, the secular world is proving that what the Lord told us in His Word is absolutely true.
Not only is our spirit broken by sorrow of the heart, but our health is negatively affected as well. If we do not acknowledge the emotional pain and trauma we are carrying and pursue inner healing through godly, Bible-based ministry, the results can be devastating later in life. When we least expect it, the suppressed emotional and/or spiritual pain will be triggered by other similar situations. This cycle will repeat until we deal with the inner pain.
Laughter and a merry heart are part of the physical and inner healing process for past and present emotional pain and trauma. They are also excellent maintenance for our bodies and spirits. As followers of Jesus Christ, we must be intentional and very selective regarding what we read, listen to, and watch in order to maintain a merry heart and healthy bodies and spirits. Let laughter be a regular part of your daily spiritual exercise!