Hi, this is Joel and Victoria. Thanks for listening to our podcast and thanks for supporting the ministry. If you enjoy today's message, why don't you be a blessing and share it with a friend? We appreciate you and for God's very best in your life.
And God bless you, it is always a joy to come into your homes. We love you and we know God has great things in store for you. He rewards the people that seek after him. I know that you you wouldn't be watching or you wouldn't have come today. But thanks for coming out. If you're ever in our area, stop by and see us. I promise you it will make you feel right at home. I'd like to start with something funny each week.
And I heard about this blonde lady. She was trying to get to sleep one night, but her next door neighbor's dogs were barking so loud she could she finally had had enough. She got up and told her husband she's going to go do something about it. She came back a few minutes later and the dogs were barking louder than ever. He said, What did you do? She said, I put the dogs in our backyard. Let's just see how they like it.
All right, hold it up and say it like you mean it. This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do today. I will be taught the word of God, how boldly confess. My mind is alert. My heart is receptive. I will never be the same in Jesus name. God bless you. I want to talk to you today about the healing power of laughter.
A lot of the sickness in our world is simply because we don't have the joy that we should when we live uptight and on edge causes headaches, digestive problems, lack of energy. We don't sleep well. Much of this would go away if we just learn how to deal with the stress properly. And one of the greatest stress relievers God's given us is laughter. Laughter is like taking medicine. It not only makes you feel better, but it actually releases healing throughout your system.
When we laugh, it restores and rejuvenate what the pressures of life have taken out. Most people today don't laugh as much as they should. They don't take time to play. They're too stressed to have any fun. We need to get back in balance. Life is not supposed to be all work and no play. You need to develop your sense of humor. Look for opportunities to laugh. Like you say, Joel. I'm just not a real jovial person.
I'm more serious. I never laugh that much. Now realize God made us all different. But you can train yourself to laugh more. Now read where the average child laughs over two hundred times a day, but the average adult only laughs four times a day. What's happened? We've allowed the pressures of live stress, more responsibilities, little by little to steal our joy. And some of you today, you have not had a good hearty laugh in twenty seven years.
Your laughter is rusted and needs to be overhauled. You don't know how much better you would feel. You don't know how much more energy you would have if you would make a decision. You're just going to lighten up and learn to laugh more often. Not once a month, not once a week, but every single day. Don't ever lose the child that's on the inside. Just because we get older, does it mean we're supposed to get all sollom the way we never have any fun.
We borderline on being grumpy. No. Every healthy adult needs to have a child on the inside. You need to know how to work, but you also need to know how to play. You need to remember to have fun. I think about my father when he was seventy five years old, he would still laugh and kid just like he did when he was twenty years old. He was responsible, he was serious, but he knew how to have fun.
One time we were in Mexico walking down the main street of this little town and these American tourists came up to my father, a husband and a wife, and they were looking for the post office. They couldn't find anybody to speak English. They thought, well, we finally found somebody that looked like us and they said to my father, Do you know where the post office is? My dad looked at them real strange. He said, no comprende.
No comprende. De Espanol, amigo. They thought, oh, now he speaks Spanish, too. So they said it real dramatically post office that he shook his head. No comprende. They got frustrated, said it even more dramatically. Post office mail, a letter that he brightened up, said post office. They got real excited. Yes, yes. Post office there. He said, if you're looking for the post office is right around the corner.
That man said, boy, out of woop you. Don't ever lose the child on the inside. It is healthy to have fun. I read where one of the common ingredients in people that live way up into their 90s wasn't their exercise routine, wasn't their diet. It was the fact that they were extremely joyful people. They never forgot how to laugh. I met a lady in the visitors line a few years ago after service. She was 96 years old and as healthy as can be.
Her mind was sharp, skin was beautiful, her eyes were bright. But what stuck out to me was how happy she was. She knew no stranger. Everybody was her best friend. She was hugging all the people in the line. I mean, she was a breath of fresh air and she was wearing this real bright, colorful kind of fancy dress. After we talked, I hugged her. And as I was leaving, I just said in passing, I believe when I'm ninety six years old, I'm just like you.
She leaned over and whispered in my ear, Just don't wear the dress.
I thought, no wonder she's so healthy, she still has a sense of humor, she still knows how to laugh and think about all those years of healing flowing through her body. Now realize we're all going to get older eventually. We're all going to die. But I've made up my mind, I'm not going to die a grumpy old man. I'm not going to get more and more sour the older I get and will stay full of joy. When it's my time to go, I'm going to go with a smile on my face, a laugh in my heart, and a joke in my pocket.
Dr. Stuart Brown is the founder of the National Institute of Play. He became interested in the effects of laughter and play in our lives when the governor of Texas asked him to investigate the tower shootings there on the campus of the University of Texas. This was back in nineteen sixty six is he talked with this troubled young man that had killed all these people. One thing that stuck out was this young man had never played as a child. He grew up in such a dysfunctional home he could never remember ever laughing or even playing.
Doctor Brown went on to investigate the other inmates on death row in Texas that year, and he discovered not one of them had a normal childhood. Not one of them could ever remember laughing, playing or having a good time. Dr. Brown concludes today. The opposite of play isn't work, it's depression. What's he saying? It's healthy to laugh. It's healthy to have fun. Proverbs seventeen twenty two puts it like this. A happy heart is like a good medicine and a cheerful mind works.
He'll notice when we're good natured and full of joy. Taking time to laugh, taking time to play. It's like taking a good medicine. That's what helps us to stay healthy. In fact, medical science tells us that people that laugh, it boosts their immune system. Laughter reduces blood pressure. People that laugh regularly are 40 percent less likely to have a heart attack than people that don't laugh regularly. Laughter triggers the right side of the brain, which helps release creativity, helps us to make better decisions.
Laughter activates the body's natural tranquilizers that not only help us to calm down, but it helps us to sleep better. Many people today suffer from insomnia. Maybe you need to laugh more often. That's what this one lady did. She hadn't slept well in years and years and she was constantly taking tranquilizers. She had taken them so long it hardly even affected her anymore. She tried everything, different diets, different doctors, different medicines. Nothing seemed to work.
But this one doctor gave her a very unusual prescription. He said every night before you go to bed, you need to watch something funny. A funny movie, a funny video, a funny drama, something that makes you laugh. She started doing that night after night, month after month. She got better and better. Today, she's totally off her medications.
She can sleep like a baby. What happened? She was having to take man made tranquilizers because she wasn't releasing the natural tranquilizers that God put on the inside.
Could it be that you would receive the healing you've been longing for if you just lighten up and learn to laugh more often? Could it be that the headaches, back aches, migraines, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, even depression would go away? If we just take time to play, to laugh, to enjoy the lifeguard's given us? It's interesting, when my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in nineteen eighty one, this is one of the things that she did during the day.
Instead of going to bed, instead of sitting around feeling sorry for herself, thinking about her problems, she would go in and watch cartoons on television. She would sit there and laugh and laugh. What was she doing? She was releasing the healing that God put on the inside. She couldn't find something funny to watch. She'd just go look at my brother Paul. That always made her. There's too much sickness in our world today, much of it is related to the sadness is directly related to the fact that we don't smile enough.
We live uptight and stressed out what's happening. There's a healing power that we're not tapping into. There's a medicine available, a cure that's completely free. It has no side effects. You can take it as often as you'd like and we'll give you a prescription today, every day at least three times. Find something funny that makes you laugh out loud, not to laugh on the inside. Not a chuckle down in here. No, release that joy outloud.
Release those endorphins on the inside. Activate your natural tranquilizers. Every time you laugh, it boost your immune system. It reduces your blood pressure, tension is leaving and creativity is coming. If you'll stay on this prescription and laugh every day with a happy heart having a cheerful mind, then you're going to sleep better. You're going to get more done, you'll have more energy. You're going to make better decisions. You'll be more creative. I believe even some of these areas of chronic pain, chronic fatigue, you'll begin to see them go away.
Have a good friend. That's a doctor. He told how this lady came in that has a severe case of fibromyalgia. It's very painful. She would spend hours a day in bed suffering. She had chronic fatigue, no energy. She was in poor health, both physically and emotionally. She'd gone through tough times and lived a basically very depressed life. And the doctor gave her medication to treat the pain, but he knew that was only dealing with the symptoms and not the root cause.
After he talked with her a while, he realized just how depressed she was. He asked her a very interesting question. He said, How long has it been since you've had a good hearty laugh? The lady thought about it a moment. She said, Doctor, I haven't laughed like that in over thirty years since I was a child. He said, Well, here's your prescription. You need to go find every funny movie you can watch, go find every funny book you can read and laugh as much as you possibly can.
She began to do just that. Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for herself, she began to laugh. Little by little. She got her joy back and every day she would laugh. More and more. She started feeling better. The pain began to subside. She got her energy back. Three months later, she went back to the doctor for her checkup. He said the moment she walked in, he could tell something was different. There was a sparkle in her eye, a spring in our step, a smile on her face.
She said, Doctor, I've never felt so good in all of my life. Month after month, as she continued to relearn how to laugh, eventually, all those diseases left her body friends. There is healing power in laughter. When you have a joyful spirit constantly on the inside, health and healing are flowing. Let me ask you what the doctor ask her. How long has it been since you've had a good hearty laugh? A day, a week, a month, a year, ten years.
Make sure you're taking your medicine. I know when I've had a hard day and I feel pressured and uptight, it causes me to have a backache right down the center of my spine. I can feel this pain and I know it's just from tension and I do just what I'm asking you to do. I'll go play with my children. They always make me laugh or I'll watch something funny on television. Invariably, after a few minutes of laughing, that pain is totally gone.
It's just like I had a good massage, but it was a lot cheaper.
The medicine I'm talking about today can save you a lot of money. It can save you from buying sleeping pills and tranquilizers and antidepressants. Laughter releases the body's natural medicines. It can not only bring physical healing, but laughter will help strengthen our relationships. The other day I walked into our bedroom. Victoria was over in the corner reading something with her back to me. And I'd got home a lot earlier than I had planned. And I realized when I walked in that she didn't hear me come in there and I debated whether I would say something, but I thought I would startle her.
So I thought I'd just let her naturally turn around. Maybe that would be better, but it was just the opposite. About that time she turned around and when she saw me, she must have jumped this high in the air. I know they say white people can't jump, but she got up. I could not help it, I begin to laugh and laugh and laugh. The problem was she wasn't laughing. I tried to stop, I tried to zip it up, but the harder I tried, the funnier it hit me and the louder I laughed.
After a minute or so of her watching me laugh, she began to laugh. I finally got over it. I was done laughing, but I couldn't stop her from laughing. Friends, it is great to have laughter in your home. One thing the enemy cannot stand is the sound of you laughing. He cannot stand the sound of husbands and wives, family members having fun together. He wants there to be so much strife and tension and pressure that we never have any joy in our home.
Don't fall into that trap. It's one thing I appreciate about Victoria. She loves to laugh. She keeps a fun atmosphere in our home. And when Victoria laughs, she doesn't laugh to herself. She doesn't laugh under her breath. When she laughs, it feels the whole house with joy. Do you know laughter is contagious? I can be sitting back in the back of the house, minding my own business, watching television, but I'll hear her laughing and laughing.
Before long, I find myself laughing just because she's laughing. I finally have to go in and find out what's so funny. The other week she was just laughing so much. And so I went in and she had found a picture of our son Jonathan, when he was just a little baby, maybe six or eight months old. I'd forgotten about it, but we had put a wig on him with sunglasses. It looked like a little baby Elvis.
We laughed so hard. Listen, the family that can laugh together is a family that will stay together.
Victorian. I have been married. We've been married, going on twenty two years.
People always ask us what's the secret of a healthy marriage? We always tell him two things. No. One, respect. Always be respectful. Even when you disagree, be respectful. And number two laughter. Don't ever stop laughing together. Keep your home phone. Some of you today you would see your relationship go to a new level. If you get some joy back in the home, you've allowed the pressures of life, the water that's already under the bridge to sour your outlook about that other person.
But you need to remember the reason why you fell in love. Remember the things you used to do together, how you used to have fun and laugh. If you would bring that joy back into the home, you would see a freshness, a new life in your relationship. That's what some friends of mine did. They were struggling in their marriage and they were good people. They loved each other, but they just had a lot of pressure and a lot of issues that had been pulling them apart.
They decided to take one night a week and go rent a funny movie and watch it together. They sat there and laughed and laughed and laughed. They told how something so simple had a major impact. It changed the atmosphere of their home, brought a newness into their relationship. If you can laugh together, it'll help you to stay together. Laughter not only reduces tension, but when you're full of joy, it draws people to you. Laughter helps bring down the walls.
You can meet a total stranger, but if you ever laugh together, the defenses come down. I've found that when we're good natured, we know how to laugh. We're friendly, we smile. You're going to see more of God's favor. I was at an airline counter a few years ago and I needed to change my tickets. We'd moved our departure date up a couple of days I already knew is going to cost a couple hundred extra dollars. And so I handed the lady my tickets and told her what I needed to do.
She said, well, that's going to be fifty dollars extra per ticket. And I kind of laughed. I said, Yeah, I know. Somebody already told me that. She looked at me so strange. She said, Why are you laughing? Why are you so happy? I didn't know I did it. I said, I don't know. I guess I'm just a happy person. When she went to work in a few seconds later, she handed me my tickets back.
She said, I'm not going to charge you anything extra. We need more happy people around here. The rest of that day I went around smiling and laughing at everybody I saw. Being joyful draws people to you. But when not all serious and all work and no play, this pushes people away. Here's another key. Be willing to laugh at yourself. Don't be so uptight and stiff and defensive insecure that if you do something kind of dumb or you make a mistake, that you can't laugh about it.
I remember when we first moved into this building, they gave me a key to the back door where we park was a very strange looking key. It was small, an oblong kind of fat plastic. I'd never seen anything like it before. I got to the door and I tried and tried to figure out how to get it in, but there was no place to put it. Now we're sticking it up to the doorknob, kind of jiggling around.
Think it maybe something would pop out, but I just couldn't get it to work. Finally, I had to go get the security guard after about ten. I told him what I was doing and had been doing it, and he said, well, Joel, let me just come over there and show you how to do it. So he took my key when he got to the door. He reached up to the side of it and touched an electronic panel.
I don't even know what that was up there. And when he touched the panel, the door automatically open. And when he realized what I'd been doing, trying to take this thing up here and put it in the doorknob, he began to laugh and laugh and laugh. And at first I wasn't sure I was going to laugh. I had to pray about it. You've heard that saying if you can't beat them, join them. I finally felt that was pretty dumb.
So I started laughing with him a few years ago, right before I came up to Minister Victoria told me that my hair was sticking up in the back and I needed to go spray it with some hairspray. And I said, OK, where's the hairspray? She said, it's in the bathroom back there on the shelf in a red can. And so I ran back there as fast as I could and I found it and I sprained spray and sprayed.
But that hairspray would not keep my hair down. So I sprayed it more and more. Well, after the service, Victoria said, Joel, why didn't you spray your hair? It was still sticking up. I said, Victoria, I did spray. But that hair spray you gave me doesn't work. I sprayed and spray. She said, Well, show me what you used. I went in there, got it out. She looked and said, no, this isn't hairspray.
This is air freshener. I just smiled. I said, you know what, I got the best smell in here around. Do you know every time you've left today, you've gotten healthier, every time you've left, you've gotten stronger. Even though you've done it at my expense. But have you noticed these days people are so uptight they can't laugh with their children, they're too stressed out? Joel, I can't lighten up and have fun. Have you seen the news reports?
These are troubling times. No, it's just the opposite. The more difficult it is, the more we need to activate our joy, the more pressure, the more we need to look for opportunities to laugh the day. Every other minute you hear doom and gloom, it's going to be so bad, it's going to get much, much worse. You probably won't make it. If we're not careful, we'll fall into that trap of thinking. This is no time to enjoy my life.
This is certainly no time to laugh. No time to have a sense of humor. But now, more than ever, you need to activate your joy. In fact, it says in Joe five twenty two at destruction and famine, we should laugh and doesn't seem to make sense. You mean we're supposed to laugh at family? We're supposed to laugh in difficulties? That's exactly right. It's because in tough times, that's when it's easiest to lose your joy.
When you lose your joy, you lose your strength. When you don't have strength, you'll drag through the day defeated. When you're not strong, you'll catch diseases that you shouldn't have. Your immune system is run down. You're tired, you're worried, you're worn out. God says I've got a solution in difficulties. Cheer up in famine. Laugh. Keep your joy, friends. I believe you can laugh your way to victory. You can laugh your way to better health.
You can laugh your way to more energy. It says in Psalms two.
For that God sits in the heavens and laughs. Can you get a picture of that? Right now God is on the throne. He's not mad. He's not worried about the economy. He's not upset with you and me. What's he doing? God's laughing on the throne full of joy. Goes on to tell us in Psalm thirty seven why he's laughing because he can see the destruction of the enemy coming. In other words, the reason God laughs is because he knows the end of the story.
He knows the final outcome. The good news is you and I win. God always causes us to triumph.
It's just like we are in a fixed fight, imagine you're going to watch the Super Bowl, but you already know the outcome, you already know who's going to win, no matter how far behind the winning team falls, no matter how bad it looked for them, you wouldn't get upset. You wouldn't be worried. Why? You've got inside information. You know, the final outcome. That's what God is saying. When it gets tough and things don't look like they're going to work out, we can laugh by faith.
Knowing that God has already written the final chapter, God has already recorded the victory in your favor. He's saying in famine, when it gets tough, you need to look that trouble in the face and say, ha ha ha, I know the outcome. God has destined me to win. He's already got the roses for my neck. He's already seen me stand in the winner's circle. What are we saying?
God is supplying all of my needs. He's healing all of my diseases. He's fighting my battles for me. He's my Vindicator, my way maker, my deliver. He's given me the desires of my heart. This is what Abraham did. God gave him a promise that he was going to have a child in the natural. It was impossible. He was much too old. But the first thing he did was laugh. It was the laugh of faith.
He said, in effect, ha ha. God, I know you can bring this to pass. I know you're a supernatural God. And so often when God puts a promise in our heart, it looks impossible. Maybe you're sick and you know, God's told you you're going to be well, you're coming out of that. Are you struggling financially? But God's saying you're coming into overflow. He's going to prospering. Perhaps your family is pulled apart.
God's saying he's going to bring him back together. Our man so often will tell us it's never going to happen. You're never going to get well, never going to get out of debt, never see your dreams come to fulfillment.
But if we could just remember to do like Abraham, no matter how we feel, no matter how bad it looks, we need to let out the laugh of faith and just say, ha ha, I've got inside information. I know God has already worked it out. He's already arranged things in my favor. It's just a matter of time before these promises come to pass. We can laugh by faith knowing that we're in a fixed fine. I'm asking you today to get in a habit of taking your medicine on a regular basis every day, find some reason to laugh, look for opportunities.
If you don't think you have a reason, then just know you can laugh, barfy. Remember, you got to stir up the joy, stir up the healing that's on the inside. And some of you have been living uptight and stressed. But I believe today is going to be a turning point. Make a decision that you're going to lighten up and start laughing more often. Yes, you can be responsible, but at the same time, you can be good natured.
It is healthy to laugh. It's healthy to have fun. And if you will make it a priority to laugh every single day and keep a happy heart, a cheerful mind, you're not only going to enjoy your life more, but you're going to see healing flow through you in a new way. You're going to get free from chronic illnesses, chronic fatigue, chronic things that have been holding you back. You're going to see your relationships go to a new level.
God's going to pour out his favor in a greater way. And just like with Abraham, every promise, every dream, every desire God's put in your heart, no matter how impossible it looks, I believe and declare you're going to see God bring it to pass.
Hey, man, do you receive it today? We never like to close our broadcast without giving you an opportunity to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
Would you pray with me? Just say, Lord Jesus, repent of my sins, come into my heart and make you my Lord and Savior friends. If you prayed that simple prayer, we believe you got born again. Get in a good Bible based church. Keep God first place. He's going to take you places you've never dreamed up.
Thank you for listening to the Tuesday podcast. Help us continue to share the message of hope with those all over the world. Visit Joel Osteen, dot com slash give hope to give again today. Thanks so much for listening to today's message. I hope you subscribe so you can receive the latest podcast to keep you inspired all through the week. We're praying for you. I know God's best is still ahead. We'll see you next time.