Faces on Faith: The healing power of joy
Most of us are familiar with the old proverb: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”
Less familiar is the one in Proverbs l5:l3 which says: “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance but by sorrow of heart the spirit it broken.”
Doctors and physicians now widely report a marked difference in the rate of healing and recovery by those patients who are cheerful or feel God’s supportive presence.
On Wednesday evenings at Christian Science Churches around the world, people gather at meetings where they have the opportunity to testify—that is to share how inspiration gained from either the Bible or Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, has made a healing difference in their lives.
Quite often these reports are of renewed strength, restored health or freedom from fear as a result of the expectation of “good”.
This isn’t “pie in the sky” good. It’s based on a God who is pure Love, divine Life, constantly uplifting and supporting.
This joyful expectation . . . conviction of good can be found in Zephaniah 3:l7 in the King James Bible which promises: “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save; he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he will joy over thee with singing”.
William Sloan Coffin, once described as the greatest pulpit preacher of our time, wrote: “So why are Christians so often joyless? I think, he added, it’s because too often Christians have only enough religion to make themselves miserable”.
C.S. Lewis, the great Christian apologist, shares in his book Surprised by Joy, that through his many years as an atheist, he would be stunned to feel flashes of joy.
It was only later in his momentous discovery of God that he realized Joy and God are inseparable, since joy comes directly from God, in fact, is God revealing itself.
Christian Science poet, Doris Peel captures this idea perfectly in these lines; “Love laughs, and I, oh it is laughter that I am, so lark on wing a thing, that he, daily should thus delight in me; his Song sung out in world this day, this theme in play, his everlasting Act of Joy”.
Beginning our day with this level of expectation enables us to live, as Christian theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer says: “not a cramped, compromised, circumspect life, but one lived in a kind of wild, full-throated freedom”.
June Sieber, Christian Science Church