Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Holy Humor - An Unexpected Tool for Victory

Nothing irritates Satan more than us choosing God over our pain and suffering. We can endure everything if we know Jesus is sitting next to us.  ~Joni Erickson Tada

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Our host today has written a fine post on how we gain victory over Satan's efforts to derail our faith.  We "win" by choosing God, faith and trust in Him, over fear and failure.  Karen knows whereof she speaks, as she is currently fighting her own battle with cancer.

She speaks poignantly about how the enemy of our souls knows how to push our irritation buttons, and about how we sometimes seem to race each other to the "top of the annoyance ladder" in escalating issues, family feuds, silly quarrels.  Yep, been there, done that.  Not proud of it.

Her post today reminded me of something I once read about Martin Luther's take on defeating Satan.  I am paraphrasing, but the quote was something to the effect that Satan can overcome the believer's resistance to his wiles in many ways.  But one thing he cannot tolerate.  Luther said, "Satan cannot stand to be laughed at."

I seem to recall C.S.Lewis used a similar thought in the Screwtape Letters.

Sometimes laughing in the face of tragedy can seem insensitive, even ghoulish.  But sometimes a good laugh in the middle of pain and problems is as effective as a good antibiotic.

My oldest son once came rolling rapidly in his wheelchair into the kitchen toward me, about a year after he had been paralyzed from an auto accident at nineteen years old, saying, "Mom, mom, I have decided what I want to be when I grow up."

I looked at him askance, never knowing quite what he would come up with next.  "What's that?"

"A stand-up comedian." he replied with a grin, and cracked himself up laughing.  I couldn't help but chuckle, too.  His sense of humor and his ability to make fun of his own severe disability was one of the things that got us through that terrible time.

He is in his forties now, and works as a high school special ed teacher, teaching the toughest students in a tough school.  Recently he dared them to complete some assignment and if they did, he would allow them to dye his hair purple on a day that he was scheduled to attend a public meeting of a serious business nature.

Talk about, "You can't keep a good man down, Charlie Brown."  :)

Of course, given Satan's devious and mean-spirited nature, he has tried to high jack the sense of humor God gave us.  Watch any current TV comedy (although I don't recommend it) and you will hear a long string of suggestive, and sometimes downright lewd, scatological humor.  Most of it originates in one of two rooms in the house:  bedroom or bathroom.  I hate it.

But God truly loves a good laugh.  He gave us humor.  His word says, "A merry heart does good like medicine." (Proverbs 17:22)

And part of the description of the virtuous woman in the final chapter in Proverbs is that "she can laugh at the days to come." (Proverbs 31:25 NIV)

Now I am not suggesting that we all go around with silly grins on our mugs in the middle of tough battles.  But I am suggesting that keeping a sense of humor in the middle of the fray may mean the difference between just barely hanging on through it all, or riding a wave of triumph that befuddles the sceptic and warms the heart of God.

God invented humor, many of Jesus' parables were funny stories in the culture of their day.  I have read that the "camel through the eye of a needle" was considered a real knee-slapper in his day.

So why not trust God with a good belly-laugh.  Oh, go on, go for it!  Satan will run like crazy and you will not only feel better for it, you will experience a touch of the "peace that passes understanding."  Laughing produces those endorphins, don't you know?

God bless you ...Marsha

Note:  Today's host is Karen over at In Love W.I.T.H Jesus.  Please join her and leave a comment on today's quote.


  1. I truly LOVE spirit is applauding!! I have also heard we are to taunt the devil, which is what I believe laughter does. Sometimes I say, well I can laugh or cry...crying usually gives the enemy a win, so to laugh just throws it back.

    Laughter is truly like medicine to our souls.

    Thank you sooooooooooooooooo much for this post...since I went through crying yesterday I think I will turn it around and laugh!! Time to have some victory over the enemy.

    What a joy the testimony of your son - God is truly faithful.

  2. That was really good, thanks for all the reference to what I said today. An elder taught me once to smile. It took me awhile to "want" to smile as things back then were pretty bad with my epilepsy but I found out when I did I wasn't kidnapped by the horrible feelings I got from dwelling on my pain and suffering. Smiling and laughing and choosing God is telling Satan to go and take a hike, I'm sticking with God no matter what. It relieved a lot of unnecessary tension and worthless stress. Thanks for sharing today, it was great to read. I like the attitude of your son, hopefully he continues to maintain that same attitude and keeps on smiling.

  3. I'm so glad you stopped by the blog today... you're always welcome there.

    Indeed, laughter is sometimes the best medicine for a weary-worn heart. I've had my fair share of laughs in the past year. I'm thankful for a house full of people who are more than willing to provide material.

    Keep laughing, sister. And keep speaking the truth.


  4. Such a timely post Marsha! Yes, laughter is such good medicine. I didn't know about your son and his accident. What a wonderful story of overcoming challenges! He inspires me as he teaches young people; love that.

    I remember my good friend Terri always saying something similar. She was dealing with her ailing parents who were frequently taken to the ER. In the midst of it all, they always found something humorous. As a nurse at the time, I would often see this family in the hospital. And I got to join in the laughter with them. What a gift! And btw, Terri is still my friend even though both parents have since died. She continues to remind me that there's always something to laugh about if we look.

    Great post Marsha!

    Blessings and love,

  5. Thanks for an excellent post. Too often we think we have no way of defeating Satan's attacks, but you are absolutely correct about the power of Godly laughter.

  6. I enjoyed reading your post. I love to laugh and I thank God that our family laughs a lot :).

    What a wonderful testimony your son has had! I don't know if you're familiar with Nick Vujicic and his ministry: or not. His life and his book, Life Without Limits, are very inspirational.