Proverbs 17:22 A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
I truly believe that this above scripture is the key to living a heathy, prosperous, and abundant life. It is with our heart that we love and out of the heart the mouth speaks. A happy heart is good medicine so laughter and joy are healing to our soul. A heart weighed down with anxiety is sick and makes the whole body ill. I know you have felt sorrow in your lifetime and have felt the effects of sorrow on your body. You may have felt heavy and found it hard to put one foot in front of the other. You may have been sick to your stomach and had diarrhea. Your heart may have physically hurt and your hands may have tingled. On the other hand, joy and laughter made your body feel light and carefree, almost giddy. So joy and laughter are good medicines for our body. It seems that taking a good dose of “joy” everyday leads to wellness. What I find fascinating is that a joyful mind causes healing. One translation says a cheerful mind works healing. So a joyful mind is directly link to healing! The word “causes” is a verb and means to make happen. Synonyms for the word “causes” include: to bring about, bring on, create, give rise to, lead to, inspire, promote, foster, precipitate, produce, generate and spawn. Our mind is truly powerful! Literally, a joyful, cheerful, and positive mind brings healing about or promotes healing. So just as a joyful mind causes healing, a sorrowful or unhappy mind must cause illness. Are you seeing the significance of our thought life and living a joy-filled, healthy life?
Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever, is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things (center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart).
I love the last sentence of the amplified version of Philippians 4:8. It says to “center your mind on good things and implant them in your heart”. Again these are action statements. These are disciplines we must practice. In Joshua Chapter 1, God teaches us how to live the prosperous and successful life. Joshua had a destiny and a purpose for his life. God tells him 3 times to be “strong and courageous”. Joshua must have been dealing with fear for God to have to tell him 3 times not to be afraid or dismayed. God told him to meditate or be mindful of His words day and night and by doing so he would have good success and be prosperous. God also told Joshua not to fear or be dismayed because He would be with Him on this journey. God is saying the same thing to you and me, “Do not be afraid or dismayed because I will never forsake you or leave you. I will dwell in you and I will go with you wherever you go.” Joshua felt fear and discouragement but he believed God was with him and that if God was with him he would not fail. God did not say it would be easy to fulfil his purpose but that He would be with Joshua. Joshua had to encourage himself with the promises of God. He chose to believe God over his fears and to take steps of faith towards his destiny.
I love David. He definitely struggled with depression, discouragement, and rejection. In Psalm 42, David reveals his heart is in agony. He says “my tears have been my food day and night”. He poured out his heart to God but then he began to encourage himself in the Lord.
Psalm 42: 11
Why are you in despair, O my soul? Why have you become restless and disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.
We must learn to do what Joshua and David did. I believe it begins by learning to be “mindful” of the Lord and His promises to us as believers. Being “mindful” means to be conscious or aware of something. “Mindfulness” is the practice of bringing our attention to external and internal processes happening in the present moment and can be developed through the practice of mediation. Learning to be “mindful” of the Lord and learning to practice His presence in our lives will bring peace and joy. He is not just in heaven looking down but dwelling in us! He is with us and will never leave us. The problem is that most of us don’t think on Him at all during the day. We don’t “practice His Presence”. Practicing “His presence” is simply directing our minds and hearts toward Him. Focusing our mind on Him, meditating and speaking His Word, and reminding ourselves of His goodness. Acts 20:35 says to be mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus and Galatians 6:10 say to be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith. Revelation 22:9 ….. and with those who are mindful of and practice (the truths contained in) the message of this book. Worship God! Practicing mindfulness is a Christian practice established by God to bring healing and joy to our lives. Even God practices mindfulness.
Psalm 115:12 The Lord has been mindful of us, He will bless us.
Psalm 8:4 What is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you care for him?
I want to re-emphasize the power of our words before closing. Do you remember the story of Joshua and Caleb? Moses sent spies into the Promise Land to check things out. When the spies returned, many of them were complaining about the giants in the land and how they were stronger than the Israelites. They began to complain to the people and they all became afraid. Not Joshua and Caleb. They said the Land was good and that they could take the land because God was with them. Essentially the complaining of the people kept them from entering their promise land. The same is true for us. Are you thinking and speaking yourself out of your promise land? The Lord brought me to a great sermon this morning that brings this all home. I have included it below. Al