"And Sarah said, God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me." Genesis 21:6.
"He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, and your lips with rejoicing." Job 8:21.
"But let all those rejoice who put their trust in you; let them ever shout for joy, because you defend them; let those also who love your name be joyful in you." Psalm 5:11.
"But I have trusted in your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me." Psalm 13:5,6.
"The king shall have joy in your strength, O Lord; and in your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!" Psalm 21:1.
"Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful." Psalm 33:1.
"Because you have been my help, therefore in the shadow of your wings I will rejoice." Psalm 63:7.
"But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God; yes, let them rejoice exceedingly." Psalm 68:3.
"Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!" Psalm 144:15.
"A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance ... but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast." Proverbs 15:13,15.
"A merry heart does good, like medicine." Proverbs 17:22.
"Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry." Jeremiah 30:19.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" Philippians 4:4.
"I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance. Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:7,10.
Reasons to be joyful, merry and to laugh include:
It has therapeutic value for your mind, emotions, imaginations and body.
It helps you to keep things in perspective.
It helps you to lighten up and to not take yourself so seriously.
It crushes depression off of you.
It permits the joy of the Lord to be your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
It enhances your personality.
It feels good, it does good and it is good.
You're more enjoyable to be around.
It improves your appearance.
It turns a frown right-side up.
It's a form of a "lube job" for you.
It makes your breath smell fresh (just kidding)!
Christopher Longgrear (D.Min., Ph.D.) of Fresh Fire Ministries International is senior pastor of Fresh Fire Church in Marietta, Parkersburg and Athens.