Laughter is Good Like a Medicine! It is Time to Laugh!

Solomon, the wisest man who lived, said laughter is good. Just as good as medicine! Tell that to the 1150 billion dollar pharmaceutical industry! Perhaps with a little more chuckling, those figures might drop!

Let’s face it, the cares of this world easily rob us of joy.

“A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.”
Ecclesiastes 3:4

Laughter is contagious! Few can hold back a smile when deep, belly laughter erupts. I’m not talking about the kind that is serrated with sarcasm, barbed with ridicule, or is a satirical stab. Just that free unrestrained joy in the present.

It is Good!

Let’s look at the “good” hidden in this joyful behaviour.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”
Proverbs 17:22

Laughter is like medicine

“Medicine” means “a healing and cure“. Several studies declare a cheerful attitude can improve the outcome of even the most serious illness.

One commentary says laughter makes good recovery!”  I like that! Even when ailments inflict, a good recovery sounds promising! If a “good recovery” includes healthier hearts, relaxed bodies, and boosted immune systems, then laughter delivers.

Believe it or not, joy is a personal choice — a way of “recovering”. Choosing joy creates a perspective that can make a big difference.

A few years ago, a difficult swirl threatened to engulf me. Every morning God encouraged “Choose joy!” So each day before my feet hit the floor, I agreed with God’s view and aligned my thinking.

That decision prevented the dysfunctional atmosphere from drowning me emotionally.  Joy kept strength from being “sapped”!  To “sap” here means “to be ashamed, confused, disappointed, to dry up, and wither.” 

Was it easy? Certainly not!

Was it possible? By God’s grace, yes!

It is Godly

Do you know that God laughs? Discovering God’s response to situations will change our own view of things.

“The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.”
Psalm 37:12-13

We have an enemy intentionally stealing, killing and destroying everything he can. He specifically targets our joy!

Laugh! I am!

Recently, I was feeling the intensity of an onslaught.  Problems of all sorts were hitting hard: physically, financially, relationally and spiritually. The enemy’s thrusts worked overtime in the lives of those I love and are close to.

During prayer, I felt God prompt, “Why don’t you laugh? I am!”

So I did! First strained and loudly! Then authentic laughter rolled naturally from some deep recess.

First, it was an act of obedience. Then I remembered I have a lot to laugh about. The enemy is still “gnashing his teeth” at us, but he was

crushed at the cross,
defeated on resurrection morning,
rendered powerless by the blood,
and sentenced to destruction.

Laughter is good! It reminds me the enemy’s “day is coming” when God brings justice. It produces alignment with God’s attitude, in some way bringing heaven’s glory to earth.

A time to laugh!

Strength

In Nehemiah’s day, the exiles returned after a long banishment to reestablish their homes. Under Ezra’s instruction,

“They read from the Book of the Law of God,
making it clear and giving the meaning
so that the people understood
what was being read.”
Nehemiah 8:8

The grief stricken people realized that disobedience to God brought about their captivity.

Mourning sounds logical to me! Countless times, I’ve been on my face distressed over the contradiction between my attitudes, words or conduct and God’s holiness. Reading “the book” puts things into perspective!

Joy in the Lord is strength

Nehemiah says something surprising under the circumstances,

“…This day is holy to our Lord.
Do not grieve,
for the joy of the LORD
is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10b

Sometimes we need encouragement to move from grief to joy, sorrow to gladness, or wailing to laughing. When they felt like grieving, Nehemiah reminded them, “Laughter is good!”

This word “strength” means “a place of safety and protection.”  It pictures standing on a solid rock, protected within a fortress, or secure in a strong defense.

A sports motto states, “The strongest offense is a powerful defense.”

God affirms that laughter implements both offensive and defensive action against Satan’s attacks.

Laughter is good! It creates a synergy between heaven and earth. Laughing at the enemy, no matter what his ploy, reminds me that God remains in control.

Laughing at Myself

I don’t purposely do incredibly foolish things! They spontaneously occur naturally and often! Laughter seems only logical in this moments.

A solid sense of self-worth releases me to laugh at my blunders and make light of my forgetfulness. Whether I have a particularly good day or not, my value securely resides with God alone.

Second, I demonstrate grace in even my ungraceful moments. I’m not what I used to be, but I sure haven’t arrived. Allowing myself time to laugh at my shortcomings liberates me to get up and try again.

Third, deliberately create time to laugh. It takes less energy to smile than to frown, I’m told.

Laugh together

Fourth, laugh at life! My father taught me well how to laugh during times of stress and pressure. He possessed an incredible ability to find a pool of joy in an ocean of despair.

Fifth, laugh at the past! I’m “getting long in the tooth”! Or in other words, I have more life behind me than ahead. Many situations threatened to crush me forever. By God’s grace, they served to refine me instead and in many ways make me stronger. Now, I smile in remembrance of those once painful times.

Life’s Journey

Pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem for the Jewish festivals sang the Songs of Ascent, Psalm 120-134. The priests also repeated them as they ascended the steps to the temple. One song declared at each step forward and upward.

Joy resonates throughout these psalms.

“I rejoiced with those who said to me,
Let us go to the house of the Lord.'”
Psalm 122:1

Songs triumphantly raised in praise to a God so faithful!

“We have escaped like a bird
from the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Psalm 124:7-8

Laugh throughout life

Listen to this declaration of praise and rejoicing!

“When the LORD restored
the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
P
salm 126:1,2

And hear the promise!

I will bless her with abundant provisions;
her poor I will satisfy with food.
I will clothe her priests with salvation,
and her faithful people will ever sing for joy.”
Psalm 132:15-16

If the pilgrims going to the temple praised God with rejoicing, perhaps I should take time to laugh as I journey through life’s course. If the priests sang praise while entering God’s presence, I’m thinking the same is important as I approach our Awesome God.

Laugh often!
https://www.facebook.com/glimpsesofgloryphotos

Have you captured the importance yet? Let’s all make today a time to laugh!

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Beatitudes – Encouragement and Instruction for Every Circumstance!

Beatitudes_Walk Through Suffering

I have been visiting Dr. Luke frequently. I recognize more than a few areas where a physician’s wisdom is needed. In the beatitudes he shares the Chief Physician’s encouragement and instruction for every circumstance!

Most people familiar with the bible know this passage from Luke 6:20:

Blessed are you who are poor
…you who hunger
…you who weep
…when people hate you
exclude you and insult you
and reject your name…

 

Until now, I have skimmed over the hard parts of the ” be attitudes” to the blessing that God promises. Today I let the suffering of each phrase resonate.

Rejoice

Jesus commands, “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy..” (vs 23) Spoken by anyone else, we might be tempted to throw these words out the window; but from the One who suffered more than any other, we can nothing less than listen. He walked in the paths of

hunger and poverty
rejection, insult and hatred
false accusations and slander.

Love

Then comes another tough directive, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse, you and pray for those who mistreat you.” (vs 27) The inevitable questions I have are, “why and how?”

…because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Luke 6:35-36

There was a time when I was included in the barrel of rotten apples marked “ungrateful and wicked.” I have tasted of mercy. As His daughter, I am called to re-present Him in love and mercy.

This, of course, is impossible in myself. Only by Holy Spirit’s transforming of my inherent self-protect reflex to supernatural other-focus will this be possible.

God fully equips us …

His divine power has given us everything we need
for a godly life through our knowledge of him
who called us
by his own glory and goodness.
II Peter 1:3

Judging

When life gets remotely tough, I need to lock this poisonous gate. Critical judgments multiply faster than houseflies in my mind if left unchecked. Jesus says it straight,

“Do not judge..
Do not condemn
…forgive…”
Luke 6: 37

Judging

Just like I keep a fly swatter ready for the occasion when a fly finds entrance into our home, I am ever vigilant to destroy thoughts contrary to kingdom thinking. My goal is to have a mind where negative thinking has no room within me.

I still need my flyswatter!

A Good Heart

“A good man brings good things
out of the good stored up in his heart…”
Luke 6:45

My Greek Lexicon tells me “good” means “well positioned, peaceful, prosperous.” The opposite of which is “evil” meaning “hurtful, broken state, morally disaligned.”

Opposites they are! It is impossible to be well positioned while broken or morally disaligned and peaceful. The old adage “hurting people hurt people” is very true. Only when God fully heals our hurts can good things flow from our good hearts.

Going Deep

Lastly Jesus tell us the wise dig down deep; they keep digging until they are solidly planted on The Rock, Jesus Himself.

…like a man building a house,
who dug down deep and
laid the foundation on rock.
Luke 6: 48

And who qualifies as one so wise?

“…everyone who comes to me and hears my word and puts them into practice..”

I have a bit more digging to do! I’m deep enough to be able to see the Rock, but not deep enough to imitate Him fully. The coming and hearing is easy; putting it all into practice is the catch.

The road may be long, but our destination is sure! Let’s not quit before we reach the fullness Christ intends even in the midst of great difficulty.

WalkHigh

Walking High in Suffering

“The Lord God is my strength,
my personal bravery, and my invincible army.
He makes my feet like hinds feet
and will make we walk
(not stand in terror, but to walk)
and make (spiritual) progress
upon my high places
(of trouble, suffering or responsibility).”
Habakkuk 3:19 AMP

It is in our upside down thinking that we perceive trouble, suffering or responsibility valley walking. God sees them clearly as high places where we discover Him in new ways and see His face more clearly.

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Want to read more?

Laughter – It’s Better Than Medicine! Choose Joy!

Magnets of Every Size and Purpose – A Force that Attracts And Repels

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