One of the main causes of a discouraged heart is what the Bible calls, “deferred hope.” The verse that addresses this condition is found further back in Proverbs 13:12: “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Deferred hope is the anticipation that you and I have for something that doesn’t come to pass.
Sound familiar right now? Maybe you had hope to return to a job that closed down. Maybe you had hope to excel
at your new career. Maybe your hope was in some family gathering, a graduation, a wedding, or a special activity.
In any case,you were looking forward to something that didn’t come to fruition. Now, your heart is “sick.” If that isn’t the Biblical definition of depression, then I don’t know what is. Many people are depressed right now, and for various reasons. In Indiana alone the number of daily calls to the state’s suicide hotline has risen to 25 times its normal level. Not good news!
Would you be surprised to learn that the Bible has a prescription found right here in Proverbs 17:22? In fact, it seems debatable as to whether or not this may even have a positive impact on the physical health of the individual as well as their overall spirit. Oh, to have a merry heart! How opposite is this from the sorrow and utter hopelessness we see in the
world around us right now? The world indeed has every reason to not be merry. When your riches, family, and livelihood are all but stripped from you in an instant, how hopeless is your case if that’s all you have in this world? But it is not so for the Christian!
He or she has an eternal abode in Heavenly places with Christ! Treasures have been laid up for the obedient soldier. Not only that, we can have joy now as we abide in the True Vine. To have a merry heart is to, “know thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ”
who He has sent. To know that we can have joy when we have not, and when we have in abundance. To know that He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.
So…is your heart merry? How would you describe your present state? Are you filled with worry, trouble, and fear? We don’t know what a day may bring forth, so why should we worry about it? God is faithful! He is with us every moment.
There is plenty of reason to fear. But far more reason for the Christian to be merry! Check your “merry meter.”