Laugh Often

January 2, 2016
by John Stuart

Ecclesiastes 2:2 – "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?" (NIV)

I like to laugh. A funny joke, an amusing story, or some old-fashioned, silent, slapstick movie usually has me creasing with laughter. I also love being in the company of family and friends, when we share funny stories, do daft things, and tell corny jokes. Even during some intense and awful moments in my life, laughter helped to heal my pain. The Bible tells us, "A cheerful heart is good medicine" (Proverbs 17:22a NIV). I can think of no better way to create a cheerful heart than what is produced by laughing.

Sometimes, when I read the Book of Ecclesiastes, I get the feeling that the writer missed out on life by not being able to loosen up, lighten his spirit, and laugh at himself. He seems to be as serious and as sombre as Hamlet or Macbeth in a Shakespearean play. I wish that he had learned the secret of happiness: to be content with what he had and to enjoy the life that God had given him. Perhaps if he had, Ecclesiastes might have been a brighter book instead of appearing as a torturous tome at times.

As we embrace a new year, perhaps we should seek to follow a new mantra:

Live well, love truly, and laugh often.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to laugh at ourselves frequently, so that we can truly learn to love life. Allow us to enjoy the company of others — our families, our friends, and our church folks. May we show our faith in You by sharing joy and laughter each day. In Your holy name, we laugh and pray. Amen.

About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So true John.


    Thank you, John.


    Amen and Amen. Thank you for this reminder.
    (Texas)


    Thanks John for this message. Blessings to you and yours in the New Year. Blessings.


    Thanks for this devotional. I, too, love laughing. Inherited from my mom’s side of the family.


    Thank you John – precious words.
    A guid New Year to you and yours.


    Dear John Stuart,
    Have you tried the funny man at the end of “Back to the Bible” braodcasts? He’s Biblical too.


    What a wonderful counsel for the beginning of the new year. I’m always doing things like placing items down and not finding them, and it gives many people reason to laugh! I love your message. Maybe my mindless behaviour is more ministry than mindlessness! God bless, and happy new year to all.


    Thanks for reminding me to laugh more.
    Great advice!
    Great words of wisdom!
    God Bless.


    I agree 110%.
    I often thank God for my sense of humour though sometimes it kicks in at wrong time!!
    I always enjoy your messages.
    Happy blessed joyful 2016.


    Dear John:
    Thank you for sharing your love of laughter. I have in my home a beautiful picture of Jesus laughing. It makes me smile each time I look at it.
    Have a wonderful New Year and may God bless you and keep you laughing.


    I love to laugh so I agree 100% with all you said.
    These lines from a poem I know also sum it up well.
    Laugh and the world laughs with you,
    Weep and you weep alone.
    Bless you.


    Thank you for the reminder — what a way to begin 2016.
    I have lived in an assisted living facility for several years and enjoyed the experience immensely as I laugh often and unfortunately (as to anyone born with a lemon in the mouth) LOUDLY.
    Always enjoy the writings and often try to identify writers before scrolling down. This one threw me.


    Thank you for your thoughts and prayer this morning. Our family has been going through a dark time through the holidays with family members diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Inspite of this, through our faith and trust, there have been moments of laughter and lightheartedness when this horror has been overcome. I had to learn early to laugh at myself. I try to share my love of life with my family. Soon to be 85, I have great reason to thank the Lord for all my blessings and thank Him for the gift of laughter.
    (B.C.)


    Heavens, John, I thought you were describing me. I laugh or just snicker when I make a foolish error and will relate that to another who may or may not respond in kind. I will add, “Well I thought it humorous.” My wife who is now in a Nursing Home with Alz dementia long ago developed the same laughing light hearted habit. Guess that has contributed to our marriage.
    Your topic found in the content of this morning’s Devotional has started me off for this weekend. I must continue to feel hilarious but may it be during the proper occasions of course. Thank you John, thank you. I have often found items in Scripture that brought at least a quiet smile and will no longer wonder if I was sacrilegious.


    Sounds good to me!!


    So true. Wishing you a blessed New Year.

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