Laugh while you suffer!
I know how odd that could sound to you. You might feel I’m joking.
But it’s true. It’s a proven and well-tested mental health principle to guide us through any challenges in life.
According to HelpGuide, laughter is strong medicine.
“It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner.”
My life has been filled with loss and trauma. Yet I’m always reminded to laugh even with the super storms!
Joy through life depends on nothing external. None at all from things outside of you.
It depends on internal – your deep faith in God, regardless of how hard the rains fall or the wind blows.
Paul experienced so much hardship and pain in his life. He could had raged or wallowed in self-pity.
He was beaten and chained in prison yet still found joy and wrote:
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all … Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 1:3-4, 4:4)
Paul has great, quiet confidence. Not in his external circumstances. But in God, who loves him and is at work, who is in control, and who is causing all things to result in His glory.
When I focus on what the apostle Paul was pointing out, I too discover I can laugh again, even after the horror of betrayal and losing those I’ve loved.
Remember, joy is something that happens within us which is not affected by our external circumstances.
Our inner joy lies in the Lord, not in ourselves. It’s the fruit of our oneness with Him.
Yes you hear me, you can laugh while you suffer!