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God wants us to be happy

RELIGIOUS REFLECTIONS

What is the longest word in the English language? Smiles. There’s a “mile between the first and last letters.

It’s an old joke, but it is true that one smile can go a long way. Scientists have proved that smiling and laughing are actually beneficial to our health.

Why, then, in our health-conscious society do so many of us go around with long faces and looking as if we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders?

True, life has problems that are no laughing matter. Perhaps Christians look at life more seriously than do others, yet, that is not a reason for us to be gloomy, humorless people. Laughter puts sanity back into our lives. Laughter eases our tension and helps us break rigid patterns of apathy and pessimism. I believe that God wants us to be happy and to even laugh.

Jesus performed His first miracle at a wedding reception in Cana, turning water into wine. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus tells us that the overjoyed father threw a big party for his returning son.

“We are going to have a feast, a celebration,” the father declared, “because this son of mine was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found” (Luke 15:23-24).

There are many places in scripture where people are encouraged to praise the Lord with music and dancing. David danced before the Ark of God. Peter tells us to rejoice in the hope of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:6-9). Paul urges us to rejoice in all circumstances of life (Philippians 4:4).

So, go ahead. Turn up the corners of your mouth. Smile. Laugh. Remember that God has played the ultimate practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. We have good reason to sing and dance and rejoice.

Everyday can be Easter morning because Christ has risen. Let us rejoice and be glad. Celebrate the risen Christ. Smile.

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