Invariably, it’s going to happen! Whenever our daughters are visiting in our home at the same time, laughter will be a major player. Usually it is at my expense at least once or twice during their stay. And that’s okay. I have seen my wife and our daughters laugh so hard that tears stream down their faces. They will then gain some semblance of composure, and “there she blows!” One of them will burst out into another round of laughter as whatever it was that caused the first round of laughter comes back to mind. My heart is often lifted by just watching and listening to them go on in their joy and subsequent tears. Simply put, they are good medicine! Proverbs 17:22 says, A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.
What causes us to have a merry heart that produces healthy laughter and joy?
1. Being truly born again; knowing that my eternal home is Heaven, not hell; that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation (Habakkuk 3:18).
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isaiah 61:10).
I will rejoice in thy salvation (Psalm 9:14).
Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).
2. Knowing that God has given us laughter.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3:4).
3. Having a glad heart that affects our countenance.
A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed (Proverbs 15:13).
4. The daily presence of God in our lives.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
5. The promises of God for time and eternity.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
6. Keeping sin confessed and having a clear conscience
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.(Hebrews 10:22).
F.B. Meyer has said it well. “A happy and cheerful heart is a matter of cultivation. We cannot afford to abandon ourselves entirely to our moods. There are times when we feel depressed and sad, for no special reason, except that a mood is on us! It is at such times that we need to anoint our heads, and wash our faces, that we may not be consumed by our fretfulness, or impose our depression upon others, for nothing is worse than to be a wet blanket” (Matt. 6:16-18)!
“We may alter our dispositions and moods by a resolute action of the will. We can refuse to look miserable, to speak mournfully, to be pessimistic, to pass on depression. In a spirit of unselfishness we can put on a cheerful courage, array ourselves in the garments of joy, anoint ourselves with the spirit of praise and thankfulness, and go forth into the world to shed sunbeams rather than shadows on the path of life. Do not nurse your sorrow of heart, lest your spirit and the spirits of others be broken.”
“We can promote a cheerful heart by dwelling on the bright things of our lot; by counting up the mercies which are left, rather than dwelling on what we have lost. When the heart is full of the light and love of God, can it be other than cheerful? How can this be obtained except by a living union with Jesus Christ. In Him there is an infinitude of supply of peace and joy, sunshine and light. Let us open our hearts to him, and put on these things as we array ourselves each morning in our garments” (Isa. 61:3-10).
Thanks, girls, for the laughter! By the way, reader, how healthy are you today?