Posts Tagged ‘Proverbs 17:22’

Healing Laughter

May 18th, 2016

Dear Readers of EDL: I will be taking a few days of leisure with my wife and some dear friends, away from my office and writing responsibilities. In these next days, visit the Archives of previous devotionals at the Wedbiste, if you need a bit of God’s Word to brighten your day and lighten your heart. I so appreciate your partnership in EveryDay Life. I’ll meet you here again next week. Blessings In His Name.


“A merry heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22 NIV.

Laughter is a gift you give yourself and others.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “healing laughter.”

When humor is good-natured and without sarcasm or portraying others disparagingly, it can provide a mental and emotional mini-vacation that lightens and lifts a heavy heart. “Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone.” (Solitude, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1850-1919, American author and poet). People don’t laugh enough and they, as well as their family and friends, are the worse for the lack thereof. A common saying is: “Laughter is the best medicine.” Solomon was the wisest of men, and he wrote that “Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.” Proverbs 17:22 TEV. Lighten up; brighten yours and others’ lives. “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” Proverbs 15:13 NKJV. Laughter is healing to the soul. Humor freshens attitudes, refreshes emotions, relieves worry, and releases tension. Solomon was the wisest of men, and he wrote that “Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.” Proverbs 17:22 TEV.

As I was growing up, our home was a happy place. Our family laughed freely and frequently. My Dad had a big smile and a ready laugh. When friends were in our home, I remember that there was lots of laughter and funny stories. Solomon wrote, “For the happy heart, life is a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15 NLT. A favorite childhood memory of mine is sitting by my Dad watching comedians on television, laughing together at the antics of Red Skelton, Milton Berle, or George Burns and Gracie Allen. Admittedly, that was before comedians considered profanity and vulgarity to be funny.

My Mom was always my most appreciative audience. I enjoyed making her laugh. None too seriously, my Dad would occasionally say, “Don’t laugh at the boy, Mildred; you’ll just encourage him!” Apparently, she ignored his pretended discouragement. I still love a well-placed humorous ad-lib, probably more than continues to be funny sometimes. I love laughter that is joyous and spontaneous. Does that happen to you often enough?

Laughter is a gift you give yourself and others. Do your friends and family a favor; make them laugh. My Dad also said, “Everyone brings joy, some when they come and others when they go.” Be the first of those; bring joy whenever and wherever you come. People don’t laugh enough, especially at themselves. Don’t take yourself and everyone else so seriously. When things are as serious and sobering as our world seems to be presently, a few more people with a healthy sense of humor does not seem to me a bad thing, especially ones able to laugh at themselves.

Jesus must have had a terrific sense of humor, judging by the stories He told. Imagine a camel trying to go through the eye of a needle (Matthew 19:24 NIV), or a judgmental person trying to get a speck out a friend’s eye with a sizable log in their own (Matthew 7:1-5 NLT). Read the Gospels. People loved being with Jesus; children and crowds sought His company. I think everybody was happier being with Jesus, except those who thought themselves too religious or self-important. I envision Jesus with the broadest of smiles, most uninhibited laugh, and the most joyous of hearts – all the while loving life and living abundantly. His desire for you is simple and clear, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and your joy may be full.” John 15:11 NKJV. The world – and the Church – needs a lot more of His joy.

Today, I pray for you to have and enjoy the company of friends who find humor healing.

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Who’s Laughing Now?

April 26th, 2013

“The Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh?’  Genesis 18:13 NIV.

God can turn incredulous disbelief into inexpressible delight.

My thoughts and comments today ask, “Who’s laughing now?”

Have you thought much about laughter? I amused myself one day by thinking of the variety of words to describe differing forms of laughter like: smile, grin, smirk, giggle, titter, snicker, chuckle, cackle, guffaw, but my favorite may be chortle. I am chortling just reading these words.

As the words differ, all laughter is not the same either. There is a nervous laugh from discomfort when a person is unsure or uncomfortable. There is a scoffing or skeptical laugh of disbelief when something sounds too good to be true or you know to be untrue. There is the sound of a friend laughing with you, differing from the awkward moment when someone is laughing at you. And there is the happy laugh of your own joyful anticipation of good.

“The Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh?’ Genesis 18:13 NIV. Sarah’s incredulous laugh happened before discretion could stifle it. Hearing Abraham being told that she would have a child was more than she could mentally process or dare to believe. That time of life was long past. Read Romans 4:17-22 NKJV/Hebrews 11:11-12 NIV.

Months later, Sarah again laughed but her laugh was far different as she cradled the miraculous son in her arms, as promised by God. God had changed her laughter from incredulous to incredible! Sarah named her son Isaac, whose name means, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.” Genesis 21:1-8. God changed her laughter forever from disbelief to inexpressible joy. Others would never again laugh at her, but would laugh with her.

Maybe there are prayers you have not dared believe God would, or could answer. A promise of God that once warmed your heart now seems too long delayed, until you are no longer expectant. Maybe dreams and hopes that once brought joyful anticipation now silence your laughter. There is good news. God has a plan for you that will turn your laughter of disbelief into inexpressible delight. “For I know the plans I have for you . . to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV.

Every day, God wants to birth new life in and through you. He whispers promises of your future that He will fulfill. God’s delays are not denials. “For I will turn their mourning to gladness; I will give them . . joy instead of sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13 NIV. Isaiah prophesied of Messiah, “The Spirit of the Lord has anointed Me . . to comfort all who mourn . . to give them the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Isaiah 61:1-3 NKJV. Listen closely to your heart; you may hear God laughing and inviting you to laugh with Him.

Life should be – and can be – filled with laughter. Laughter is healing and contagious, brightening your life as well as the hearts of others. God loves to fill your days with laughter; share that laughter and brighten the lives and hopes of others. Solomon wrote, “Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.” Proverbs 17:22 TEV. See Psalm 126:1-6 NIV.

My prayer for you today is for your laugh to be of joyous expectation, not disbelief.

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You’ve Got to Have Heart

April 23rd, 2010

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22 NIV

“What you carry in your heart affects much more than you imagine.”

My thoughts today are, “you’ve got to have heart.”

Do you know what’s really in your heart? The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart and examine the mind . .” Jeremiah 17:9-10 NIV. Sounds like we might have quite a problem here. The heart can be a tricky thing. How could you take an inventory of your heart, and why would you do so?

The Bible uses the heart to describe who you really are at your core, and what you are about. Maybe that’s why the Bible finds it important to distinguish that “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV. If that’s where God looks, it would seem wise that occasionally and regularly you took time to look there as well. I find that I need God’s help to really look into my own heart. I have to cry out sincerely with the Psalmist, Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties. And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV. Do you know what the cry of God’s heart is? See Deuteronomy 5:29 NKJV.

I knew that the heart would be a major theme of Scripture, but was amazed at the near innumerable times and ways the heart is described in both Old and New Testaments. A quick reading of those occurrences of the word in a Bible Concordance is both enlightening and sobering, and would be time well spent. What you carry in your heart affects much more of everyday life than you might imagine. The Bible describes “the hidden man of the heart . . which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:4 NKJV. Never allow anything to hide in your heart that you do not want expressed in your life.

At the source of things either good or bad, you will find your heart. See Matthew 12:34-35/15:18-19 NKJV. The heart is the place where love is born and faith resides. Mark 12:30-31 NIV/Romans 10:10-11 NKJV. But that’s also where doubt lodges, before disturbing your thoughts – where desire is birthed, then expressed in behavior – where attitudes are formed that are then evidenced in words and deeds. I think you get the idea.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 NIV. Do you know how God does that? He cleanses and changes your heart by His Word and Spirit. “For the word of God is living and active . . it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart . . through the Holy Spirit who gives us new birth and new life by washing us.” Hebrews 4:12 NIV/Titus 3:5-6 TEV. See Ephesians 5:26-27 NIV.

Here is a practical application that can make your day a better day. A clean heart is the basis for a cheerful heart. “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22 NIV. My grandmother would have described the idea this way, “It’s good for what ails you.” In reading your Bible, have you noticed how many times Jesus began His words by first saying, “Be of good cheer.” That’s a good place to start, whatever the situation or latest news. Choose to live cheerfully, “making music to the Lord in your heart.” Read Ephesians 5:18-20 NLT.

My prayer for you today is that your heart is holy and happy in God.

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