The book of Proverbs dispenses well-known truths and common facts of experience in short, simple expressions.  Within this treasure chest, one will find three simple declarations regarding a merry heart: the way it affects our countenance, the way it affects our spirit, and the way it affects our outlook.

Consider how much money is spent on preparing the face for the public, whether that "public" is a spouse, a family, classmates, fellow employees, or the general public.  More and more shelf space seems to be given the various soaps, creams, lotions, and oddities brought home from the marketplace, guaranteed to do whatever we hope to see accomplished.  But there is one thing that can put color in the cheeks without costing a cent or taking up shelf space.  It can lessen wrinkles, open pores and even enhance an over-all appearance without having to be wrestled out of a box or squeezed from a tube.  What is it?  It`s a merry heart.

"A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance" [Pro. 15:13].  No bottle of lotion, no jar of cream, and no tube of paste can do more for the countenance than a merry heart.  It works on our facial expression, as well as our entire body language.  The step is lighter, the hand is freer, the head is higher, the chin is forward, the cheeks glow, the smile resins and the brow is relaxed.  Our entire countenance is changed: all by a merry heart.

Not only does a merry heart affect the countenance seen by others, it affects our spirit felt within us: the expression "a merry heart does good, like a medicine" is contrasted to a broken spirit that "dries the bones" [Pro. 17:22]

Talk about money spent on dressing up the outside of the face.  Nothing compares with the cost of medications, ounce for ounce.  Yet, prescription drugs, necessary for so many, and non-prescription drugs, that provide great help for our well being, can be enhanced by a simple truth: a merry heart does good, like a medicine.

When I think of dry bones, I think of arthritis stiffening the joints.  Many have severe cases.  All cases of arthritis are uncomfortable.  Yet, in all of the medicines we utilize, we need to be certain we do not overlook the power of a merry heart.  It can free the spirit and lessen that aching in our bones.

Something about a merry heart helps us forget our worries.  It diverts our aches and pains, at least the awareness of them, when we let out hearts be merry.  A merry heart sends strength through our body that corresponds to the strength we feel in our soul.

Not only does a merry heart affect out outward appearance, and not only does it affect our inward aches and pains: a merry heart also affects our outlook on life.  "He that is of a merry heart has a continual feast" [Pro. 15:15].

How do you react to the events taking place around you?  How do you view the ups and downs of life?  Do you take each trial as a personal affliction?  Do you view your hardships as things meant for evil?  Or, do you keep a merry heart in the midst of trials and tribulations?  

Remember the glass of water?  How it is used to illustrate our life`s outlook?  Some see it as half full; others see it as half empty.  Well, a merry heart sees both the portion and the potential: it rejoices at what is there, and it sees the capacity for more.  The power of a merry heart: put it to work for you.