(Read and then look at this picture again. It’s not like there are not reminders all around our home. Look close for “jingle bell’s and fa la la’s.”)

by Tammy Phillips and Kristi Stephens

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  [Proverbs 17:22 NIV]

A cheerful heart,  a joyful middle, a merry mind, a rejoicing inner man is  good medicine.  A cheerful heart makes a merry cure and a pleasing departure of pain.    It rightly heals a wound.  It brings gladness at the removal of a bandage. It brings a joyful thrusting away of a hurt. “Rejoicing always” make us well and content   A joyful heart gives a happy healing!


A crushed and wounded spirit, a broken mind, and a stricken breath, you know, the gut punch that takes your breath away.  Well, that dismayed self,  dries up the bones, withers our strength and confounds.  (Tammy’s Holy Spirit rhema according to the Hebrew meaning of  the words in Proverbs 17:22)  Gods word is so rich!

Well, we all need friends who can sharpen us when we get dull and prescribe us word encouragement.  My friend, Kristi, friend called one day distraught over her dog and the vets “diagnosis.”  The good friend that I am (ha ha) listened and advised her to breath, stop, and laugh.  I told her It would be okay.  Isn’t that what the virtuous wife does in Proverbs 31?

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” (Proverbs 31:25 NLT)

In the moment of pain, when we are hit, struck, broken, crushed, and wounded, our future is our next breath.  We have a choice to make.  We fold into the discouragement, or we choose to encourage ourselves and laugh at our future, the next second, without fear. 

It is so easy to dish out counsel, right?

The VERY SAME NIGHT that I had so easily advised my friend, I got an email that made my blood boil. The words contained in the email wounded my heart and brought offense.  We are not supposed to boil, be moved, nor dismayed so easily, but that is Satan’s mission to knock us off the block, our Rock.  Joshua 1:9 tells us, “”Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God [is] with you wherever you go.”

According to the Strong’s Concordance, “dismayed” means:  broken; shattered; discouraged; broken in pieces; to break down; confounded; to go down. I tried to practice what I had preached, but  I awoke the next day still on fire.  I was so mad that I was having a hard time breathing.  As I drove to an appointment, I called my friend for back up!  I was taking offense and I need help throwing it away.  She listened and gave me the BEST encouragement.  She said, “I listened to you yesterday and this is what I did.  I chose joy.  I chose to sing , ‘Jingle Bells.’”  She explained, “You know the part. ‘O’er the fields we go. Laughing all the way (HA! HA! HA !) Bells on bobtails ring. Making spirits bright…’”. She told me she sang, “Laughing all the way (HA! HA! HA !),” to the top of her lungs.  I tried the medicine she was dishing it out and added as loud as I could sing, “Fa la, la, la, la, la, LA, LA, LA! Tis the season to be jolly!”  I “joined the chorus and followed her in merry measure. Sing we joyous all together!”

God’s word worked.  Imagine that?  A cheerful heart was good medicine.  We made  a choice to turn that frown upside down AND laugh at the future.  In those two days, we “overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” (Rev.12:11)   Glory to God.  I thank Him for friends that over whatever fields we may go, we can go laughing all the way!

I enCOURAGE you to choose a cheerful heart!  Laugh all the way.  It is good medicine.  It is healing.  It makes us whole and not broken.  It helps us laugh at the future and get past the pain.

Also, important in the healing and wholeness  process,   I addressed the email and made my peace with the person.  They had no clue that they had offended me.  They were just trying to help.

    “And if you need some BIG BELLS to fight the enemy with…”

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