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Posted 01/03/2023 in Christian Mental Health Tips

What does the Bible say about Laughter?

What does the Bible say about Laughter?

If you're reading this, you're probably curious about what the Bible says about laughter. I was curious as well because I know there are many mental health benefits of laughing.  In fact, watching a good comedy is one of the many coping tools I recommend.  This post will explore all that the Bible has to say about laughter including: 

  • Does the Bible say laughter is the best medicine? 

  • How many times is laughter mentioned in the Bible?

  • What are the top Bible verses about laughter? 

  • When should we not laugh? 

  • Who in the Bible laughed at God?

  • Who was called laughter in the Bible?

  • Does God laugh?

  • Will there be laughter in heaven? 

Does the Bible say Laughter is the Best Medicine?

The most frequent asked question about the Bible and laughter is "does the Bible say laughter is the best medicine?" While the Bible does not use the word "best" Proverbs 17:22 reads 

A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. - AMP

Research has also confirmed what the Bible tells us about laughter in the above verse.  Laughter has been shown to reduces stress, fights depression and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, decrease inflammation and a host of other things.  

How many times is laughter mentioned in the Bible?

Scripture makes numerous references to laughter and laughing. The number of times laughter is mentioned in the Bible ranges anywhere from 20 to 40, depending on the translation

The references to laughing in the Bible includes the benefits of laughing, reminding us when it is inappropriate to laugh and they types of things that make God laugh.  

What are the top Bible verses about laughter? 

Below are the top laughter Bible verses, including three proverbs about laughter that are perfect for meditating or praying back to God.

Job 8:21

He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. - NIV

Psalm 30:11

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. - NIV

Psalm 126:2

Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” - AMP

Proverbs 15:13

A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit. - NIV

Proverbs 17:22

A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. - AMP

Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. - NIV

Ecclesiastes 3:4

A time to cry and a time to laugh. - NIV

Luke 6:21

God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now for in due time you will laugh. - NIV

When should we not laugh?

While the Bible encourages laughing, it also contains several verses that caution against being foolish or unwise, as in Proverbs 14:9 which says, "Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance." In this sense, it may be inappropriate to laugh or make light of serious matters or things that are meant to be treated with respect or reverence. Ultimately, the Bible encourages Christians to be mindful of their words and actions, and to consider the impact they have on others. Consider the below verses about when it is not appropriate to laugh:

Habakkuk 1:10 

At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it.- ESV

Psalm 80:6 

You make us an object of contention for our neighbors, and our enemies laugh among themselves. Psalm 80:6 ESV

Matthew 9:24 

He said, "Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him.  - ESV

Mark 5:40 

And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was." - ESV

Luke 8:53 

And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. - ESV

Bible verses about being filled with laughter pin Pin It

Who in the Bible laughed at God?

There are a few instances in the Bible where people laughed at or mocked God. The most well known examples of people laughing at or with God is when Sarah and Abraham laughed at the news they would be parent.  

  • In Genesis 17:17, Abraham laughed when God told him that he would have a son at the age of 100. Abraham said, "Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?"

  • Genesis 18:12-15 So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?” Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.” But the LORD said, “No, you did laugh.” 

Below are other examples of people laughing at God or because of something God said or did

  • In 2 Chronicles 36:16, the people of Jerusalem laughed at the prophets who were warning them about the coming destruction of the city. The people said, "As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you."

  • In Psalm 2:4, the Psalmist describes the enemies of God as those who "laugh at him."

  • In Acts 13:41, some of the people in the synagogue at Antioch laughed at Paul when he preached about Jesus being the Son of God.

It is important to remember that God is all-powerful and deserving of respect and honor. Mocking or laughing at God is a serious matter and can have serious consequences.

Who was called laughter in the Bible?

Isaac was named laughter in the Bible.  Specifically, the his Hebrew Yiṣḥāq  literally means "He laughs/will laugh" when translated.  Abraham and Sarah chose that name because they both laughed when they learned they would have a child in their old age.  Sarah laughed at God's promise of a son (see Genesis 18:12-15 & Genesis 21:6-7).  Abraham also laughed at the idea of having a child in his old age (see Genesis 17:17).   

Does God laugh? 

There is no Bible verse that talks about God laughing in a happy sort of way.  However, the Bible does mention that God is happy and that he delights in certain things. For example, the Psalms say that God takes pleasure in those who fear him and that he rejoices in his people. 

There are several Bible passages that describe God as being angry or upset in laughter.  This type of laughter is used to show disapproval or coming judgement.  

  1. Psalms 2:4: "The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them."

  2. Psalm 37:13: “But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming.”

  3. Psalm 59:8: But you laugh at them, Lord; you scoff at all those nations. - NIV

  4. Proverbs 1:26: "I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you" - ESV

As can be seen for the above verses, God laughs in the same way a father laughs at a three year old who tries to out run him.  

Will there be laughter in heaven? 

It is not stated in the Bible whether or not there will be laughter in heaven. The Bible does describe heaven as a place of joy and happiness, but it does not specifically mention laughter. 

Matthew 25:21 states 

His master replied, ‘ Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master ' s happiness! '

Has been used to infer there may be laughter in Heaven because laughter is a physical response to abundant happiness and joy.

However, other people believe that because heaven is a perfect place and God is perfect, there may not be a need for laughter in the same way that there is a need for it in this imperfect world. Ultimately, the nature of life in heaven is something that is beyond our understanding and can only be fully known by those who experience it.

Final thoughts about Bible verses about laughter 

All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. - Proverbs 15:15, NIV

As can be seen from the above information, laugther really is good medicine.  However, as with all medicine it can be be misused.  If you find yourself not using laughter to cope with life or using laughter in a way that dishonor's God, talking with a Christian therapist may help.  You can search our directory of Christian mental health providers here: https://www.therapyforchristians.com/search_results

About the Author: 

Dr. Corine Williams creator of scripture coloring pages

Corine Williams, Ph.D. is Clinical Psychologist that is currently seeing clients in the States of Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. You can find out more about her practice by visiting

www.therapyforchristians.com/corinewilliams.  In addition to providing individual therapy, Dr. Williams is also passionate about writing books and designing merchandise that educate, uplift, and normalize mental health subject in the Christian community. You can find out more about her at  www.booksbycorine.com or by visiting her amazon profile here: https://www.amazon.com/Corine-Hyman/e/B00AWZ5FL2

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Disclaimer: the information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this article are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are looking for a Christian counselor near you, please check out our directory located here:  Christians Therapist Near Me

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