“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” (Proverbs 15:13)
Sorrow of spirit is debilitating. It breaks our spirit. It makes us want to stay in bed with the covers over our head. There is a good broken spirit whereby we are humbled and in position to let God strengthen us, and there is a bad broken spirit which steals joy, strength, and courage.
The joy of the Lord is our strength. When our joy is taken away, so is our strength. Life can make us sick; but joy is the medicine that keeps us going day after day. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Prov. 17:22)
The key to maintaining joy is to continually practice thankfulness in and for everything in our lives. This can be difficult to do in a day of pain and sorrow. But the will of God for us in Christ Jesus is to give thanks in everything. We are out of God’s will when there is something for which we will not give thanks.
In God’s presence there is fullness of joy. We enter the gates of His presence with thanksgiving in our hearts. Do not expect the day to lend itself to joy. Expect God to give you His joy when you abound in thanksgiving.