Women of Reverence welcomes Sue Jameson, Joy Activist and Laughter Coach, as our special guest blogger.
Sue is a Professional Inspirational and Motivational Speaker, she presents workshops in corporations, churches, schools, colleges, retirement homes and many other groups. She has worked in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and she will speak and present workshops wherever joy and laughter is needed.
As I look at the world around me, I am reminded of the words of Jesus in John 16:33 (NIV): “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! (CEV – “Cheer up!”) I have overcome the world.” The Amplified Bible tells us to take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted, and goes on to say, “I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.”
I think we can all tick the ‘trouble’ box, but how about the ‘take heart and cheer up’ box? What exactly does that look like? If we have been given everything we need for life and godliness through His divine power (2 Peter 1:3), why are so many struggling through life? Perhaps it is because we have forgotten that we are actually living in a war zone and are not using our weapons?
I would like to remind you of some of these weapons, which not of this world but ones with divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4), and I want to begin with laughter! The Lord has brought me on an amazing journey since I first heard about laughter therapy in 1997. I began my research online, and soon became increasingly excited and convinced about its benefits. After training as a Laughter Coach, I felt the Lord was calling me to be a Joy Activist, and I have been working in ministry and the community, as well as in the corporate world. I have addressed thousands of people in groups of various sizes in Southern Africa.
Laughter truly is the best medicine. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine,” and modern science proves that it is indeed the best medicine, by showing that laughter is literally the antidote to stress, which is the number one killer in the world! A good belly laugh mimics our natural de-stress response, yet most people do not take their medicine! Our greatest weapon against stress is laughter and I urge you to start laughing more. Do not wait for jokes and comedy – do it in groups if it helps, but whatever it takes just start laughing again. Start using this powerful weapon.
The Lord had more to teach me though. In Psalm 2:4 we learn that, “The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them” (His enemies as they rise up against Him), and The Message describes part of Song of Song 8:6 like this, “Love is invincible facing danger and death. Passion laughs at the terrors of hell.” If God laughs at His enemies, shouldn’t we be doing the same? Where have you believed the lies or succumbed to the plans of the enemy? Why don’t you try and just, intentionally, ‘laugh it off’? I have been witness to incredible breakthroughs as well as both physical and emotional healing using laughter.
Jesus told us that our enemy is “a thief who comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy” (John 10:10) and I believe that he uses stress as one of his greatest weapons. However, Jesus continued to say in that same scripture, “I came that they may have life in all its fullness, in abundance, ‘til it overflows, more and better than they ever dreamed of” (various translations). Isn’t it time that we bravely wield our weapons, and fight for this fullness of life? In doing so, we will show that the Gospel really is Good News.
The Lord has given us many weapons to wage this war (many scientifically proven). Praise and worship are wonderful weapons, as are dancing and using flags and banners, and of course, there is joy and laughter. When we use our weapon of laughter, we demolish stress. Love, as a weapon, demolishes the stronghold of hatred. When we use thankfulness as a weapon, we demolish the stronghold of fear. As we fight with a weapon of hope, we break the stronghold of discouragement, and as we wield our weapon of joy, we demolish the stronghold of despair. We are told to put on the full armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), and use the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. An important thing to remember is that we fight not for victory, but from victory! We are already “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
I have begun to view so many things as weapons – such as our thoughts and words! Proverbs 18:21 shows that our words carry the power of life and death. Dr Caroline Leaf (world renowned neuroscientist) says that most disease begins in our thought life. When we take captive every thought and bring it into obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), this not only keeps us healthy, but we begin to believe and live from the truth of who we are, and Whose we are.
How about forgiveness as a weapon? Max Lucado says that forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free, and realizing you were the prisoner! Someone else said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die! For some, it is time to raise your weapon of forgiveness, and set yourself free.
We are part of this war against the enemy but remember, the battle belongs to the Lord. Most importantly, we are called into a deep relationship with the Lord. “In His presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11). It is in the secret place that we discover our true identity, our passion, and our calling, and it is in intimacy with our Beloved Jesus that we come into a greater revelation of who He is, and that we are the Bride of Christ.
Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. I pray that His joy will empower you as you take up your weapons and rise to this challenge. Rise up as history-makers and world-changers – committed, courageous, passionate and pure. Rise up as ‘The Warrior Bride’, in power and in intimacy. It is the only way to live – all for His glory. And in living this way, we will truly be the light that draws others to Jesus.