Jesus: The One who changed the world (Part 8)

Joyful living in troubled times

By Craig J. Brown II, President & CEO

*Editor’s note: This information was published in the August 2022 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.*

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine followed 1,500 siblings with a strong family history of heart disease. The study found that joyful living contributed to a nearly 30% reduction in heart disease for healthy people with a genetic predisposition to the disease. Looking more closely, it revealed those with the highest risk of having a heart attack were 50% less likely to have one if they exhibited traits of positive well-being and joy.

Joy is important—especially for Christians. Not only for the associated health benefits, but also because it is a fruit of the Spirit. We certainly live in troubled times, and joy seems increasingly rare in our world.

Fortunately, genuine joy is within reach of every person. No matter your past, your present, or what you may encounter in the future, Jesus came to make “inexpressible and glorious” joy available to everyone (1 Peter 1:8). This kind of living is available to you today as you:

  • Repent and pursue truth
  • Forgive and let go of the past
  • Do what is right
  • Be selfless and generous
  • Practice gratitude

The John Hopkins study simply offers another validation of what God’s Word teaches us in Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart doeth good as a medicine.” When we open our heart to Jesus, He will give us His joy (make our hearts merry), strengthening our inner spiritual well-being and benefitting our mental and physical health. Joy strengthens our relationships with others and improves our performance in the world. By practicing the principles listed above, the joy that Jesus provides for our hearts will continue to flow—even in troubled times.

May each of us be more intentional about living an “inexpressibly and gloriously” joyful life through Jesus today. A troubled world will take notice of that joy and be drawn to Him!

Read Part seven

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