For many decades, Reader’s Digest has featured a humor page entitled, “Laughter Is the Best Medicine.” Many readers turn to this page first as a source of inspiration, comfort, and healing.
Can laughter have this kind of effect upon us?
Many believe so. In fact, the psalmist recounts how God restores the ancient city of Zion. In that memory there is laughter and joy that transforms a people and lifts the lives of others. The same holds true today.
We can find healing and hope in laughter, in the positive attitudes that shape our relationships and circumstances, and even in pleasant memories. In times of deep sorrow, we can discover the amazing comfort that comes from remembering the good, lifting up the positive, holding on to those memories of special times. Often we gather at the table with family or with good friends to raise ourselves above our difficulties with the uplifting atmosphere of laughter.
When we consider what God has done for us—how God has offered hope through grief or been present through troubled times—we often discover joy. Wonderful memories of God’s provision shape our faith.
Take a moment. Consider what God has done for you and your family. Count your blessings. Consider the joy of it all. Surely laughter can be a part of the equation. God is good. God is the author of joy.
God, you are the giver of all blessings, and all good gifts come from your hand. Thank you for giving me a joy today that the world cannot take away. In Jesus’ name I thank you. Amen.
God is constantly performing works of renewal. Isaiah had warned Israel of judgment, yet here the prophet turns his attention to the other part of God’s message, that of restoration. God will breathe new life into the people, like sending rivers into the desert. The psalmist celebrates a communal festival in honor of the renewing deeds of God, who has turned their weeping into joy. Paul also experiences this work of renewal. He previously had boasted of his privileged position in society, but God has changed his thinking so that he considers his knowledge of Christ his greatest possession. In John a woman named Mary begins to point our attention to Christ’s coming passion by anointing Jesus’ feet. Crowds begin to gather, and the stage is set for the impending conflict.
Read Isaiah 43:16-21. When have you seen God make a way for a new thing in your life?
Read Psalm 126. Consider how your joy and laughter might heal others.
Read Philippians 3:4b-14. When has God’s strength helped you finish a race, literally or metaphorically?
Read John 12:1-8. God gives gifts to all of us. How do you share your gift from God with others?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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