Together in Christ: 'Restore Me, O God' — Proverbs 17:22

Friday, June 21, 2024

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
— Proverbs 17:22 NLT

Key Thought

When our spirits are crushed, and our souls are weary, our bodies follow. Since we are to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, [1] then we are integrally connected to each of these four parts of our being. A whole person has all four as active facets of their humanity. When one part of that humanity suffers, all others are impacted. [2] So, what do we do when our souls are downcast, our hearts are broken, and our spirits are crushed? The Holy Spirit reminds us of some heaven-sent remedies we ignore at our peril. They are rooted in our relationship with God and what He promises to do for us!

One of our most important responses, when our interior selves are dry and crushed, is to draw near to God. [3] We need to renew our love for God and our commitment to live for His purposes regardless of the circumstances in our lives. When we do, we can be assured God is at work for our best and lasting good. [4]

Another important spiritual move in tough times is to wait on God in prayer. [5] He has promised that as we wait in still and quiet places and pray, He draws near to us to restore us. [5] Let's be honest: It is not hard to be joyful when we soar on wings like eagles. It is not difficult when we can run and not grow weary. But the real heroes keep walking, trusting that God will renew, restore, and revive them as He helps them walk and not faint! [6]

An often forgotten remedy when our souls are crushed, and our spirits are downcast is to rejoice in the Lord. [7] We choose to take joy in Who God is, what He has done for us, and how He loves us knowing that He is at work in us. [8] We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord throughout the Scriptures. [9] This doesn't mean we have to be happy with our circumstances, but that we can remember the Lord who is with us in the storm and promises to get us where we need to be. [10]

A cheerful heart is good medicine for us — not just our heart, but also our soul, mind, and physical well-being! So, let's join the psalmist as he writes:

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again — my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you...
[1] Matthew 22:36-40.
[2] 1 Corinthians 12:26.
[3] Isaiah 40:31; Hebrews 7:25; James 4:8-10.
[4] Romans 8:28-29.
[5] Proverbs 8:17; Jeremiahs 29:13; Amos 5:4; Matthew 7:7-8; James 4:8.
[6] Isaiah 40:31.
[7] 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19.
[8] Philippians 1:6, 2:13-18.
[9] Philippians 2:17-18, 3:1, 4:4; .
[10] John 6:16-21.

Today's Prayer

Loving Father, when I am down, I confess that I sometimes do not turn to you and even fear coming to you. I don't want to burden You with my troubles, discouragements, and weariness again. I forget that You long for me to draw near to You and let the Spirit intercede for me even when I do not have the words to express the groaning of my crushed heart.* But today, Abba Father, I draw near to you knowing that you will draw near to me. I know all of my other relationships will be out of sorts without your grace to retune my heart to the melody of your grace for me. Infuse me with Your Holy Spirit as I wait on You, trusting that You are my reason to rejoice. In Jesus' name, I come to You as Your beloved child. Amen.

[1] Romans 8:26-29.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 23:1-6; Isaiah 40:28-31
  • Romans 8:9-32


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Illustration of Proverbs 17:22 NLT — A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.