Laughter: God’s Prescription

Psalms 51:12 says, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.” What exactly does that phrase mean? The word salvation here means “deliverance, prosperity, and liberty.” If salvation is liberty, then the joy of our salvation is also liberty.

Why are so many people afraid of laughter in the Holy Spirit? Why does laughter in worship seem sacrilegious to some people? We’ve had a sorrowful, somber church for so long that many have equated that attitude with the presence of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, “There is a time to weep, and a time to laugh; time to mourn, and a time to dance.” The word laugh in this passage means “to rejoice, to play, to be amused about something.”

It’s okay to laugh! People of faith can laugh! In Job 5:22 we are told, “You shall laugh at destruction and famine” (NKJV). Can you think of a time when you laughed at something disastrous that happened? It may not be an easy thing to do, but it is liberating!

Galations 5:22 tells us that joy is a fruit of the Spirit. But it’s more than just a fruit; it is an impartation of God designed to change our nature.

Numerous medical studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins in the brain–chemicals which cause a natural high–and it decreases the serotonin level, a chemical associated with depression. It’s interesting to note that smiles, whether natural or forced, have an uplifting effect. Each uses the same forty-two facial muscles, and it is the contraction of these muscles that causes the changes in body chemistry.

A simple smile releases all these chemicals. You don’t have to be happy or even want to smile. You may smile, but on the inside youre gritting your teeth. Smiling is like exercising. You may not want to do it, but you know you’ll benefit if you do.

I have seen the substantial change a release of joy brought in the most critical moments of my life. When a crisis comes I don’t wring my hands and wonder, O Lord, what am I going to do? No, I look on the inside of me. I look to the impartation of joy this is within me, and I release it. There’s liberty in joy!

I believe the reason this move of the joy of the Lord is going through the church today is to prepare us for what the future holds, because the news is not getting better. It’s actually getting worse. So it’s important for us to stay in God’s presence and tap into that impartation of joy withing us on a daily basis. Just as our bodies continuously need water, our spirits need to partake constantly of the joy that is within us.

Would God design our brains to release endorphins through laughter, which heals us and makes us feel better, and then be against laughter? No, God is a good God, and anything that heals comes from Him. Only God could think of something as wonderful as laughter!

So what is the best prescription for success? “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22).
Scriptures for further study:

* Deuteronomy 26:11
* II Samuel 6:5, 21
* Nehemiah 8:10
* Job 40:20
* Psalms 91
* Luke 4:18
* Philippians 4:4
* I Peter 1:8
* I Thessalonians 5:16

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