You may remember that a few years ago, there was a plush toy, "Tickle Me Elmo", based on the Muppet character Elmo from the children's television show, Sesame Street. When Elmo's tummy was squeezed, he shook, vibrated, and giggled. Perhaps, you had one in your home, for either your children or your grandchildren. It was pretty hard not to laugh along with Elmo.
From time to time, there are videos posted on Facebook showing babies laughing. It's really hard, if not impossible, not to laugh along with them. Laughter is contagious!
There's nothing better than a good belly laugh — the kind of laugh that brings tears to your eyes from laughing so hard — the Laugh-Out-Loud kind of laughter.
According to Dr. Lee Berk, an associate professor at Loma Linda University in California, USA, who has spent nearly three decades studying the ways the aftershocks of a good laugh ripple through your brain and body, laughter shuts down the release of stress hormones like cortisol and triggers the production of feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine, which have all kinds of calming, anti-anxiety benefits. He says, "Think of laughter as the yin to stress's yang".
The Bible, too, speaks of the value of laughter and a cheerful heart.
Proverbs 17:22 – A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (NIV)
Job 8:21 – He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. (TLB)
Luke 6:21b – Happy are you who weep now; you will laugh! (GNT)
Laughter is a gift from God! It's good for our health. It relieves stress and promotes an overall sense of well-being.
We all go through difficult times in our lives when we don't feel joy, and we even wonder if we will ever be happy or laugh again. These Scriptures remind us that God, in His time, will turn our sorrow to joy and our tears to laughter. God loves us with an everlasting love. He does not forsake us in our times of sorrow and troubles.
God has done great things for us!
We are all sinners. We need a Saviour. God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins. When we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we are set free from our guilt and shame. We no longer need to fear death because Jesus rose from the dead. He has gone to prepare a place for us where we will live forever in His presence. There, there will be no more crying and no more pain. He will wipe every tear from our eyes.
What a reason for joy and laughter!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, there are many times in our lives when the challenges of each day rob us of our joy. Turn our tears into laughter and remind us always that the joy of the Lord is our strength. We know that You have a sense of humour, and we thank You that You have also given that gift to us. Thank You for the many opportunities that we have to laugh and be joyful. Help us to appreciate the happy moments in our lives. May each of us look for opportunities today and every day to laugh and to cause others to laugh or smile. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Hallelujah Hallelujah" (Lyrics)