Thankfulness: Laughter

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”
-Charlie Chaplin

I love listening to the different ways people laugh. From the silent types to the chuckle to the guffaw, we are each unique in how we express our laughter. Some people turn bright red, others clap their hands or slap their knees, and others involve their whole body, unable to share their joy in any other way.

I have a few friends who have great laughs, but there’s one in particular who takes the cake when it comes to laughing. She has an infectious laugh that can fill an entire building. In addition to making me smile, this particular friend also uses laughter to deal with stress or frustration. When things are going wrong or she’s overwhelmed she chooses to laugh, which I think is a beautiful way for her to work through tough times.

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.

I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.

Peter was writing to a group of Christians who knew what it meant to be persecuted. To say that this group of people had a difficult time was an understatement. The political and social climate of their day did not make it easy to be a Christian, yet it was his observation that they served and pursued the Lord with joy and laughter and singing.

When things are hard or when I’m frustrated I don’t laugh like my friend does, I usually get angry or make a to-do list or become harsh in my language. When I’m being tested or feel like I’m under fire I usually don’t respond with the joyful attitude that Peter observed from the followers dispersed throughout the Roman Empire. But I am learning that I can laugh. I can choose to be joyful in hard situations, not to avoid the problem, but because God is with me in the midst of hard times. I can choose to laugh with friends even in the middle of tense situations. I am thankful that I can laugh and find joy in little and even silly things. I am thankful that God invented laughter and has made us capable of experiencing joy.

Lord, you are the one who made joy and laughter. You made us able to feel happiness and express it so that others can join in. We don’t always see the joy in things, it’s a lot easier for us to focus on the negatives. Thank you that we can be joyful in difficult or trying situations because you are with us. Thank you that you are joyful and not turned off by laughter. Help us to see laughter as a gift and exercise that muscle today. Amen!

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