Proverbs 15:13 (ESV)

13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.

It is astonishing to discover in just how many ways “heartache crushes the spirit.” Heartache can rob a person of his appetite, energy, and sleep. It can also have a negative impact on the blood pressure and veins. As one doctor said: “It is not about what you eat, but about what eats you!”

Is there any remedy for such heartache? Scripture shows us, contrary to our Western upbringing, that we need not act big and strong in times of distress. We read of many an Israelite man who wept aloud in times of trouble. This is a God-given way of relieving the stress and pressure in our spirit.

But more importantly, we need faith and hope in times of distress. We need to count our blessings one by one and we need to remember God’s promises. For example, his eyes are on those who mourn (Isaiah 66:2), and he makes all things work together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).

See also Proverbs 3:7–8, Proverbs 14:30, and Proverbs 18:14.