Singing Through Your Prison – What the Bible Says About Laughter

5 Mins read

People concentrate on the struggles in the world today, as it’s easy to focus on the negativity all around you. However, you don’t hear as much about the joy and humor in the world. God is the author of joy, and He wants his children to be happy.

Do you know someone who always has a smile on their face no matter how bad things are around them? How can people smile when everything is going so wrong? A person that radiates joy from their innermost being is releasing the very aroma of Christ into the atmosphere. Do you know such a person that just being around them makes you smile?

Living for Jesus in a world full of unbelievers and sin is challenging. However, you can’t let all the chaos around you rob you of your joy. One of the most powerful gifts from above is the ability to laugh and have happiness in your heart.

Possessing the Joy of God

You’ve probably heard the saying that laughter is good medicine, but did you know that this saying originates from scripture? In Proverbs 17:22, it states that those with a merry heart feel like they’re taking a good dose of medicine. It’s better than any antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication on the market.

Any doctor will tell you that when you dwell on the negativity and your problems all the time, it will profoundly affect your health. How many times have you heard the saying that stress kills? Ironically, this was an issue even all those years ago when the Bible was written.

God often addressed the importance of laughter and a merry heart in scripture. Those who have salvation and freedom through the blood of Christ can live in peace and contentment even when there’s nothing but chaos around them. Does that mean you’re going to have times when things aren’t going so well, and you’re sad?

No! However, Psalms 34:18 states that God is always close to brokenhearted people. He will come to you when your spirit is crushed and rescue you. While the circumstances around you won’t change, God will change your heart and give you back your joy.

Learning to Sing in the Midnight Hour

Remember the story of Paul and Silas in Acts 16:16-31? These two guys were preaching the gospel and proclaiming the good news of Jesus. However, they angered the Roman authorities.

On their journey, they came upon an enslaved girl who was using divination to make money for her masters. The men recognized the spirit that possessed her and commanded the devil to come out. These guys were just trying to help this woman, and they ended up in trouble with the law.

Being thrown in jail for helping people shouldn’t be a crime, but Paul and Silas sat in confinement. To further complicate the matter, the jailer beat them before locking them up. You should know that jail systems in those times are nothing like today’s detention centers. There were no comfy cots, and they didn’t get three meals daily.

Imprisoned folks were often put in caves or deep pits, and these people were chained and stripped of their clothes. They didn’t get hot meals that met their basic needs, as they were lucky to get bread and water. It was also typical during those days for the prisoners to be beaten before being shackled.

What’s fascinating about this story is that these men started singing about the midnight hour. Can you imagine singing in the middle of a pit of despair? Even though they were in the worst place imaginable, they found a reason to sing. It says that their sound radiated throughout the area, and it caused an earthquake.

The earthquake was so mighty that it broke the chains that bound them. There’s a whole sermon in this story about how God breaks the chains, but this is about the joy radiating from their hearts amid despair. These men are proof that the whole world around you can be shaken to the core, but you can still stand for God and have joy.

How many times have you been sick, or does your anxiety and depression seem worse in the midnight hour? God gave you instructions on how to break yourself free from your personal prison. Why not start singing and worshipping through these difficult times, and He will give you back your joy?

God is the creator of all things, so this means that the Lord of all made laughter. In James 1:17, the Word declares that everything good and perfect comes from above, which means even laughter was ordained from heaven. Is it hard to have laughter sometimes? Yes!

There will be many times when you don’t feel like even smiling, let alone laughing. However, you must remember that God is on your side and fighting for you. You’re in His perfect plan for your life. Though things may look bleak right now, God will make a way for you just like He did Paul and Silas.

Nothing is Impossible

Another story involving great joy showcases Abraham and Sarah’s struggles with their infertility. Sarah longed to have a child, but she was of advanced age. Abraham must have thought his wife was crazy to want a baby at 90 years old, and He was 100 himself. According to Genesis 17:17, she was one of the oldest mothers on record.

Think about that for just a minute; Sarah was a senior citizen when she gave birth to Isaac. It’s hard to run after an infant as a mother in your 20s and 30s, but can you imagine being nearly 100 and tending to a newborn? Still, God saw Sarah’s heart and granted her the very thing she desired.

When Sarah found out she was expecting her son, she was overcome by joy, and it caused her to laugh. In Genesis 21:6, Sarah discusses her great joy and laughter and states that anyone who hears her story will laugh along with her. Even in those times, it wasn’t acceptable for women to have children at such an advanced age, but she asked for the impossible, and God made it possible.

Another fascinating thing is that she got to see her son grow, as Sarah lived to be 127 years old. It’s easy to see this was a miracle of epic proportions, even according to today’s standards. Can you imagine the smile on the Savior’s face as He saw Sarah so overcome with joy at her miracle? The best part about this story is that she named her son Isaac, which means “Laughter” in Hebrew.

Is There Such a Thing as Holy Laughter?

Did Sarah experience holy laughter when she learned about her pregnancy? During the 18th and 19th centuries, holy laughter was reported from the John Wesley revivals. These services were conducted during the Second Great Awakening period, and the Holy Spirit moved mightily.

At first, Wesley thought these people overcome with laughter during the services were full of the devil. However, after it began happening to more people each night, he was sure it was of divine inspiration. There are no scriptures to back up laughing in the spirit and this phenomenon, but there are many historical instances where it’s recorded.

In Galatians 5:22-23, the Bible says that one of the fruits of the spirit is joy, so why can’t God’s power overcome you so much that you have uncontrollable laughter? Who knows what these people were facing in their lives when they experienced this sensation, but you can be sure that these folks felt better after this encounter with God?

A Prayer for a Merry Heart

Lord, Your Word says that you will give us unspeakable joy, and today, I am asking You for some joy. My life often becomes burdened with the cares of life, and I lose my happiness along the way. I want to smile, laugh, and be merry down inside. Help me to be a better person and show the very essence of Your Spirit to everyone I meet. Amen.

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