Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
I’ve been pondering this verse since I read it during my daily Bible reading a couple of weeks ago, and wanting to write a blog post about those thoughts, but I’m just getting to it today.
I’ve mentioned that this move was one of our harder ones for various reasons. One thing is that I seem to struggle a bit with some depressing and anxious feelings whenever we go through these kinds of life changes. I know not to spiral and dwell there in my mind, but often the feelings linger and I can’t always even describe them or why, exactly, they are weighing on me like a gray cloud for days, weeks, sometimes months as I try to acclimate to a new normal in a new place.
Anyway, for quite a few years now, since our pastor at a former church several moves ago encouraged us to do this, I’ve made it a habit to read through Proverbs each month. With thirty-one chapters, it is easy to read a chapter a day every month. So, when I came across Proverbs 12:25 a couple of weeks ago, it happened to be on a day when I was having some of those nebulous, hard to describe, frustrating, heavy anxious and sad feelings. I got to thinking about “a good word makes him glad.”
Do you know what my refuge is, and has been for as long as I can remember when those anxious, depressed thoughts and feelings hover and linger? God’s Word. In season and out, it is my habit to read through the Bible each year, every day. I can’t say that every single day I get a “wow” moment, but a lifetime of reading the Bible every day changes you. God’s word gets down into your thinking, and, friends, I NEED it there, deep down in my core, when lying thoughts and emotions try to take control.
Sure, a good word, an encouraging word from a friend can also serve to make us glad, but the abiding gladness that comes from a joy and a peace which passes all understanding, comes from the good word found in meditating and pondering on the Word of God. Reading His word and hearing it preached will truly make you glad when anxiety is weighing your heart down. I know from my own experience this is truth. The feelings don’t always follow immediately, but the load is much lighter when I’m pondering what I’ve read, or working on the passage I’m trying to memorize (Colossians at present), and especially when I push through the anxiety and depression and join with fellow believers in corporate worship. Y’all, I can't tell you how thankful I am that we found a good church quickly this time. Sundays are just plain refreshing. It’s like drinking from a cold fountain when you’re parched and thirsty.
I’m thankful for the good word that makes me glad when I read God’s word - how over time, He allows His word to seep into my heart and mind, reorients my thinking to His priorities and His amazing goodness, and eventually those anxious feelings submit to the truth. I’m thankful for the good word of the spiritual songs and hymns we sing together with the choir and orchestra and gathered believers on Sunday (and Wednesday night practices, too!). I’m thankful for the good word of sermons preached by pastors who love God and HIs word and who love God’s people.
Yes, a good word truly does make me glad.