Proverbs 12:25 reads, "Heaviness in the heart of a man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad." I call that the law of encouragement. So let's look at this little proverb's first two main words.
Heaviness. It is a form of anxiety, being disquieted in thought, sorrow, ot fearful anticipation. God knows we experience these feelings. He records more about heaviness in His Word. For example, in Psalm 38:6, David writes, "I am troubled: I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long." That sounds like a heavy heart to me. Then, in Psalm 42:11, he writes, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?" Yep, David is feeling pretty low.
And even Christ experienced heaviness of heart at Gethsemane as He suffered drops of blood in anticipation of the cross. So God understands our heavy hearts.
Stoop. It means to bow down, crouch, or be humbled. My husband once said, "God created man to look up. Stooping is the opposite." This stooping isn't always voluntary humility. It can be a brokenness of spirit or a surrender to heaviness. It is the position of looking away from God and to self.
But let's not leave it there. The remainder of Psalm 42:11 says, "Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." God can lift our heavy hearts!
And when it comes to stooping, God is proficient in helping us there, too. In Luke 13:11-33, we read the story of the woman with an infirmity for eighteen years, and once Jesus laid his hands on her, the Bible says, "Immediately she was made straight.” She no longer stooped with the heaviness of her illness. And Psalm 3:3 tells us God is the lifter up of our heads. I love that promise.
Now, look at the last two essential words in Proverbs 12:25 - Good and Glad.
Good - it means beautiful, best, full of mercy, welfare, precious, sweet, constructive. Good words, the Bible says, are seasoned with salt. Proverbs 25:11 says, A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." A good word is beautiful and lifts the heavy heart. Proverbs 15:23 says, "A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it." So a friend who comes alongside to encourage - using the law of encouragement - is beneficial and so welcome to the heavy-hearted.
Glad. To brighten, make gleeful, or cause rejoicing. Proverbs 16:24 says, "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." It feels so good when we hear good words, doesn’t it? It makes our hearts glad again. And Proverbs 27:9 reads, "Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel."
Dear friend, if you are heavy-hearted today, remember that God sees you. He knows where you are and what is causing you to stoop. But you don't have to stay there because He is the friend you need and lifter up of your head.
Go to God in prayer. Ask Him for comfort and assurance, then open His Word to the book of Psalms and let Him speak good words to your troubled heart. I think you'll be glad you did!