Laughter Therapy - Proverbs 17:22

Bible Verses and Devotional About Laughter

Bible Verse About Laughter Therapy
Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain

The Bible contains many verses about laughter. In the story of Abraham, laughter takes an important role in connection with the naming of his son Isaac, which means "He laughs" or "May [God] smile [upon him]."

As the Jews return from exile, laughter is their expression of overjoyed happiness: "Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy" (Psalm 126:2, NIV). In this devotional, discover how God desires his children to enjoy life through the gift of laughter.

Key Verse: Proverbs 17:22

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (ESV)

Laughter Therapy

The New Living Translation renders Proverbs 17:22 like this: "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength." It's an interesting Bible verse when you consider that some health centers treat patients who suffer from depression, stress, and diabetes with something they call "laughter therapy" One report claims that laughter therapy cuts health care costs, burns calories, helps arteries and boosts blood flow.

Laughter is one of my personal favorite gifts from God. I fell in love with Jesus Christ 30-plus years ago, and since then I’ve spent most of that time serving in Christian ministry. In my travels through church hallways, staff meetings, and storage closets, on mission fields, in sanctuaries, and at prayer altars, I’ve seen that most of us come to the Lord broken and scarred. Life can be extremely challenging, but it is also remarkably rewarding. Laughter, I've learned, is one of life's greatest rewards, reviving and carrying me through the daily challenges.

If you suspect you might be suffering from a lack of cheer, let me encourage you to look for ways to laugh more. It might be just what the Great Physician has prescribed to improve your health and bring joy and hope back into your life.

Bible Verses About Laughter

Often laughter is presented in Scripture as good-humored and friendly, to encourage others: "This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24, ESV). Also, James exhorts, "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise" (James 5:13, ESV).

Ecclesiastes 3:4 tells us that there is "a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance" (ESV).

Joy-filled laughter is sincerely offered to Job by one of his comforters: "But look, God will not reject a person of integrity, nor will he lend a hand to the wicked. He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy." (Job 8: 20-21, NLT)

Job is promised that war and famine would be nothing to worry about: "You will laugh at destruction and famine; wild animals will not terrify you" (Job 5:22, NLT). Laughter can be an expression of confidence and security: "He laughs at fear and is not dismayed; he does not turn back from the sword" (Job 39:22, ESV).

The Bible reminds us that at times it is good not to take life too seriously. The woman who fears the Lord "is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future" (Proverbs 31:25, NIV).

in Genesis 21:6, when an impossible miracle comes true, Sarah’s laughter is the sign of God-given joy: "God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me" (Genesis 21:6, NLT).

In the beatitudes, Jesus teaches, "God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh" (Luke 6:21, NLT).

While laughter in Scripture is largely associated with pleasure, enjoyment, and fun, at times it is related to ridicule, mockery, and derision. Job complained when his juniors laughed at him (Job 30:1), and Israel recalled how its enemies laughed at its downfall (Lamentations 1:7). Proverbs 26:19 condemns the one who tries to justify deception by claiming it was done for a laugh or a joke. And God laughs at the vain and worthless presumptions of earthly rulers (Psalm. 2:4).