A Crushed Spirit

Spotlight on Proverbs 17:22 KJV with Strong’s #s

A merry<08056> heart<03820> doeth good<03190>like a medicine<01456>: but a broken<05218> spirit<07307> drieth<03001> the bones<01634>.

My interpretation after reading Strong’s references

A . glad/rejoicing . heart/will . makes well . like a cure, but . an afflicted spirit/a stricken breath . withers the self.


A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Why do I post this? The quick answer is that the phrase resounds on my mind. A crushed spirit can really sap your strength to stand up. But I find the causation in this verse hard to process. A joyful heart is a cure, but a crushed spirit withers you; so how do you get cured of a crushed spirit? How does one get from crushed spirit to joyful heart, if a joyful heart is the cure? There seems to be a missing step.

The only way to bridge this that I can see is to begin to get a joyful heart even while your spirit is crushed. How so? Imagine stricken and asthmatic weeping, drawing tight rasping breaths that sap all your energy. And now, will yourself to rejoice in the salvation that the Lord has given in Christ. Not easy. Thankfully the Father gives mercy even for our inability to rejoice in His love. And he is pleased by perseverance in this matter, I know. No lies, Satan; no matter how crushed our spirit, there is much to rejoice about.


P.S. “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”  – Paul, Philippians 4:11

As for me, I must learn in whatever situation I am to be content. (Learn again and again and again…)


2 thoughts on “A Crushed Spirit

  1. Good post, it’s very interesting. I’ve been mulling over Nehemiah 8:10, which appears to be a practical example of this. The people were crushed and grieved because they now knew their standing before the law. They are then told that the joy of the Lord is their strength, and they ought not to morn because that day is a holiday meant for the celebration of what God has done for them.

    Furthermore, according to Galatians 5 we are to be lead by the spirit, and the spirit will lead us to joy. =)

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