Proverbs 18: 14   The human spirit will endure sickness; but a broken spirit—who can bear? [1]

010 internet version Yesterday a friend asked me to remember in my prayers one of her girlfriends from her youth who is down in the spirit because of a lingering, persistent and serious illness. She also informed me that she wanted to send her sick friend a copy of my book, “The Test, The Strength, The Endurance and the Way Out”, which made me feel really good because this is why I wrote the book with prayers and photos that I have written and taken to be an encouragement to the downtrodden, uplift to the depressed, and joy to those who are sad.

The focus scripture from Proverbs 18:14 makes the observation that the “Human spirit will endure sickness, but a broken spirit, who can bear?” When I think of a “Broken spirit” I think of people who are beaten down emotionally, depressed, disgusted with life and often unpleasant to be around because they are so upset. A surgeon whom I have the highest regard, Dr. Ingida Asfaw, has told me on more than one occasion of how significant the spirit of the individual who is facing an operation is in helping to insure a good outcome from the surgery. If the persons spirit is depressed, fearful and not confident of a good end, often the surgery is not as successful as it could be.

I believe this is also true for persons who are not physically sick. The attitude we bring to life often will determine how our lives go. Endurance is important, but the spirit that fuels our endurance is a major factor in how we handle the ups and downs of life.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What words of encouragement might you give to a person who has a broken spirit?
  2. What do you think are some of the most important aspects of developing endurance?



Lord, I pray today for those who are suffering with an illness. I pray for healing-complete healing. I pray that you might bless the medicines they receive. Bless every physician, every nurse, every attendant. More so, bless the spirit of those who are ill. I pray for their encouragement. I pray that you might endow them with a sense of power, victory and triumph. Encourage the sick with the promise that somehow, some way; all things will work together for good for those who love you. Remind them that with you all things are possible. Lord, I pray that you as you heal the body you will also heal the spirit. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Pr 18:14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.