Day 5: Laughter

Welcome to Being Thankful for the Little Things, our annual November Thanksgiving family devotional series. This year, we’re focusing on being thankful for the little stuff, the things we often take for granted. Each devotional is meant to be read as a family. At the end of each devotional, you’ll find a journaling prompt (you can download a free journal cover and pages here) and an action step you can take to help out someone else. Thanks for joining us and be sure to share it with your friends via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

We love to tell bad jokes in our family. The cornier the better. They make us smile and laugh. We've found that a good joke can entirely change the mood in our house. We can go from grumpy to laughing in a hurry when someone has a good joke to tell.

Laughter is a small thing, but it's something we can be thankful for. It lifts our mood and makes us happy. It can help us feel better when we're sick or sad. It can change the tone of a difficult conversation. A shared laugh has been the start of many a friendship.

Laughter is so important that the Bible even talks about it. Proverbs 17:22 says, " A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." And Job 8:21 says, "He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting."

God created laughter. He wants us to have a joyful heart. God knew that we would have times when our joy is so great it can only be expressed out loud with laughter.

Did you know laughing is actually good for you? Scientific studies have shown that laughing does all sorts of good things to your body -- it helps your heart and your mind.

And God wants to be the source of that joy. No matter our circumstances, we can always have joy because we know that God sent His Son to die for our sins. We know that no matter how bad things seem, God is in control and He has a plan. Psalm 126:2 says, "Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.'"

So, whether it's a good joke or a funny story or simply the joy of knowing God , find a reason to laugh today. It's not just a mood lifter. It's designed by God to be good for you.

Journal entry: In your journal, write down three things you are thankful for that make you laugh.

Action step: Bring laughter to someone else today. Find a good joke or a funny story and use it to deliberately spread joy wherever you go today.