Did you know that as adults we laugh way less than children? Various numbers / data can be found to support this statement, but kids laugh anywhere from 200 – 400 times a day, while adults laugh less than 20! And women laugh more than men.
Although, I think my Dad laughs more than the average man. He carries little cards with jokes on them in his wallet to share with people. And that’s nothing compared to the large box of jokes, cut out from newspapers over many years, that he has at home.
And there are those people whose laugh makes you laugh even though you don’t know what they’re laughing about. I have a grandson with a laugh like that, and the pure joy of his laughter always makes me join in.
I was a bit surprised when I searched my Study Bible’s concordance for laughter references. The Bible mentions laughter / laughing quite a few times. But most of these refer to God “laughing in derision at his enemies.” So then I thought, well maybe I would find more on laughter under the heading of joy.
But is laughter really joy? Ecclesiastes 7:3 says, “Sorrow is better than laughter, for when a face is sad, a heart may be happy.” My Study Bible states “happiness is temporary because it is based on external circumstances. Joy is lasting because it is based on God’s presence within us. Don’t base your life on circumstances, but on God.” Joy is described as being the “peace” that comes from a close relationship with God.
Will our lives always be pleasant, without difficulties? No, but James 1:2-3 tells us “that whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.”
Laugh at appropriate times . . . weep at appropriate times . . . each has its season. But a “joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” (Proverbs 17:22)
“Joy is not in things, it is in us.”
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasure of living with you forever.”