By: Kenneth E. Hagin
“WHEN THE LORD TURNED AGAIN THE CAPTIVITY OF ZION, we were like them that dream.
THEN WAS OUR MOUTH FILLED WITH LAUGHTER, and OUR TONGUE WITH SINGING: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.
The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof WE ARE GLAD.
– Psalms 126:1-3
Did you know that being anointed by the Holy Spirit to laugh is a scriptural experience? Spirit-inspired laughter is a product of joy in the
The Bible talks about laughter in Psalm 126:1. It says, “When the Lord turned again the captivity of ZION…” This verse refers to the Israelites when they were released from Babylonian captivity. But in the New Testament, the Church is also called Zion (Heb. 12:22). So Psalm 126:1-3 also refers to New Testament believers. Our mouths are to be filled with laughter and rejoicing because we have been set free from the bondage of Satan’s kingdom, and now we can walk in the newness of life in Christ Jesus!
God wants our hearts to be full of joy and our mouths filled with laughter. I’ve experienced Spirit-inspired laughter many times in my life and ministry. For example, in my meetings the Holy Ghost has often manifested Himself among believers in the congregation in holy laughter. As people laughed in the Spirit, they experienced a great time of joy and refreshing in God’s Presence. Peter talked about this experience in the Book of Acts.
19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when THE TIMES OF REFRESHING SHALL COME FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD.
The first part of this verse is talking about being converted or born again. Certainly, when our spirit is recreated in the new birth, that is a
time of great joy and spiritual refreshing in the Presence of the Lord. But notice this verse talks about times of refreshing. That’s plural.
After we’re born again, God wants us to experience many times of spiritual refreshing in His Presence. And one way the Holy Spirit manifests Himself to refresh believers is through laughter and joy.
There is a blessing in yielding to the Holy Spirit in laughter that we can’t get any other way. Over the years, I’ve seen great victories wrought in people’s lives as they yielded to the Holy Ghost and laughed in the Spirit. Many times in my services, the Holy Spirit has manifested Himself in laughter, and I’ve witnessed miracle after miracle take place. People have been miraculously healed, delivered, and set free as they yielded to the Holy Spirit and began to laugh as an expression of their faith in God.
For example, several years ago we were ministering in a crusade in Alabama when the Holy Spirit began to move and people began to laugh in the Holy Ghost. While the RHEMA Singers and Band were singing and everyone was worshipping and rejoicing in the Lord, three people in wheelchairs just got up and began to walk around the auditorium!
Some believers don’t understand the move of the Holy Spirit in laughter and joy. For example, sometimes when there is a move of the Holy Spirit in a meeting and people break forth in laughter and rejoicing, some people say, “That beats anything I’ve ever seen! People are laughing in church!”
Well, we sing praises to God in church. People don’t question that. But the Scriptures also talk about laughing. For example, notice in Psalm 126:2, the Bible mentions laughter right along with singing: “Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing…” Most believers agree that it is thoroughly scriptural to sing, but notice that it’s also scriptural to laugh!
Psalm 126:3 says, “THE LORD HATH DONE GREAT THINGS for us; whereof WE ARE GLAD.” Singing and laughter go along with being glad. When someone is glad in the Lord, joy is reflected on the person’s face, and laughing and singing just come naturally!
We’re supposed to be glad because of the great things the Lord has done for us. What great things has the Lord done? In Christ, He has turned our captivity from the bondage of Satan’s kingdom, and He has translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:13).
For centuries before Jesus came to the earth to redeem us, Satan had held mankind in captivity to sin, sickness and disease, poverty, and spiritual death. But, thank God, Jesus turned our captivity in His victory over Satan at the Cross! When we made Jesus our Lord and Savior, the devil lost his hold over us. We are no longer under Satan’s dominion or authority. That’s why our mouths can be filled with laughter!
As a believer, you need to learn to laugh right in the face of the devil, every hindrance, and even apparent defeat. Laughing at the devil is your faith in action that God is going to turn your situation around for you according to His Word. So when situations seem hopeless – when it seems that all is lost and that you might as well give up – just laugh in the devil’s face because he’s a defeated foe, and put him on the run!
When I was a young Christian, I didn’t understand that I could put the devil on the run. I had been healed by the power of God and raised up from a deathbed, but I didn’t know the faith principles I know now.
I had been taught to be afraid of the devil. So when I saw the devil coming down the street, so to speak, I’d cut down the alley and go two blocks out of my way, hoping I could avoid him!
But, thank God, a long time ago as a Baptist boy, even before I was baptized in the Holy Ghost, I got ahold of the truth of my authority in Christ! The knowledge of that truth set me free from fear. From then on, I never ran away from the devil again.
The next time the devil and I crossed paths, the devil said, “Oh, no! I can tell by the look on Hagin’s face that he’s found out about me. He’s found out I don’t have any authority over him!”
And instead of me running from the devil, the devil turned and ran from me! Ever since then, every time the devil sees me, he takes off running. The devil knows that I’m submitted to God and that I know my authority over him in the Name of Jesus (Matt. 18:18; Phil. 2:9,10; James 4:7).
That authority belongs to every believer who is submitted and obedient to God and His Word.
7 SUBMIT yourselves therefore to God. RESIST the devil, and he WILL FLEE from you.
Learn to laugh at the devil no matter what circumstances he tries to throw at you. Laugh in faith because you know God’s Word is true. Laugh in faith before your outward circumstances change, even in the face of apparent defeat. Act as if your captivity has been turned because it has been! Jesus turned your captivity on the Cross of Calvary!
For example, if you need physical healing, act like you believe you’ve received your healing according to God’s Word (Matt. 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24). What would you do if every symptom in your body suddenly disappeared? Your mouth would be filled with laughter and your tongue with singing! When you are in faith, you believe you receive your answer when you pray (Mark 11:24). So go ahead and laugh and sing!
That’s not always an easy thing to do. There are times when the Holy Spirit moves in a tangible way, and you can yield to Him and laugh in the Spirit with little effort. But sometimes you just need to start laughing by faith when it isn’t easy – when your answer hasn’t manifested in the natural yet. That’s the time to laugh in faith because you know what the Word says about your situation.
You might say, “But I don’t feel like laughing.” Well, are you supposed to walk by your feelings or by faith in God’s Word? The Word says the Lord turned your captivity and delivered you from all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). You have a reason to be glad because the Lord has done great things for you in your redemption!
Often when you just start laughing in faith, the joy of the Holy Spirit will begin bubbling up on the inside, and He will anoint you to laugh. When that happens, you’ll move over into the Spirit. And when you get in the Spirit, it’s easy to laugh and be glad!
So whatever your need is, see yourself with the answer based on the Word! With the eye of faith, see your captivity turned. Then begin laughing and singing. Be glad in the Lord! As you start out laughing and rejoicing in faith, you’ll find that your deliverance will be manifested!
I learned that principle almost sixty years ago when I was a teenager. For the first seventeen years of my life, I was a semi-invalid. As a child, I never ran and played like other children. I had to sit around with the old folks and watch with envy as the other children ran and laughed and played. People said about me, “I believe Kenneth is the most solemn child I’ve ever seen. He never laughs or smiles.”
Then after becoming bedfast at age fifteen, I was born again. One day while reading the Bible, I read Proverbs 4:20-22.
20 My son, ATTEND TO MY WORDS; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 LET THEM NOT DEPART FROM THINE EYES; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are LIFE unto those that find them, and HEALTH to all their flesh.
When I read those verses of Scripture, I got ahold of the truth that God’s Word is health to my flesh. And I determined to keep that truth in my heart and not let it depart from my eyes. Since the Bible told me that God’s words are health, by faith I began to see myself healthy. I saw myself laughing. I saw myself running and jumping like other people could. For sixteen months I saw myself healed, but I was still lying paralyzed on that bed. I couldn’t even turn over by myself. My momma had to turn me over using a sheet.
But as I continued to study the Word, my faith grew, and I continued to see myself well. And on August 8, 1934, my healing was manifested in the natural realm when I finally understood how to pray the prayer of faith and act on Mark 11:23,24.
Ever since then, I’ve been jumping and running and dancing and laughing in the Holy Ghost in meetings all over the United States! I’ve walked in divine health and victory for almost sixty years now, but it all started on the bed of sickness where I first began to see myself well with the eye of faith.
Now think about your own life. Does it seem like there is a dark cloud of oppression hanging over your head? If so, whatever need that dark cloud represents, do what I did while on the bed of sickness.
Begin to see yourself free from all bondage and oppression in every area of your life. Based on your faith in God’s Word, see that dark cloud disappear. With the eye of faith, see the bright sun of God’s power and victory shining in your life. Begin to rejoice, because God’s Word says that Jesus has already turned your captivity!
It takes faith to rejoice and praise God before you see your answer manifested in the natural realm. But faith is what moves the hand of God (Heb. 11:6). I’ve seen it happen time and time again in my own life and ministry.
For example, years ago when I was just starting out in ministry, I was preaching on faith and prayer at a Baptist home prayer group. I knew that the woman in whose house we were meeting had a grown son who wasn’t living for God.
As I was teaching the people the principle of faith, I wanted to help them understand what Jesus meant when He said, “…What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them?” (Mark 11:24). So I pointed to this woman and said, “Ma’am, I know what the greatest desire of your heart is! You want your son to be saved.”
“Oh, yes!” the woman cried.
I replied, “Let me ask you a question. What if an angel suddenly came down from Heaven through this roof with a granite stone in his hand with the words written on it, “…What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them?”
“Oh!” the woman replied. “Then I’d know my prayer was heard, and I’d start rejoicing!”
I answered, “Well, bless God, that’s exactly what Jesus said right here in the Bible in Mark 11:24. And the Bible says that the Scriptures are a more sure word of prophecy than that of an angel or a vision” (2 Peter 1:19).
I continued: “The Bible is God speaking to you. So just act like you would if Jesus stood at the door or if an angel came from Heaven and spoke Mark 11:24 to you. Act in faith that your victory is on the way. Go ahead and start rejoicing!”
That reserved Baptist woman jumped up and began to praise God, shouting, “Glory to God! I claim my son’s salvation!”
I’m a witness to the fact that less than a month later, this woman’s son was born again!
What is your heart’s desire according to the Word? In what area of your life do you need to see your captivity turned? No matter what your need, Jesus says to you, “…What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24). So pray and believe that you receive your answer. Then shout and laugh and rejoice ahead of time before you ever see your answer manifested in the natural realm. Go ahead and act like your captivity is turned, because faith moves the hand of God!
That’s what the Israelites did at the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6:16,20). They shouted while the walls still stood firm. Those walls seemed
impossible to penetrate. But as the people obeyed God and shouted in faith,those walls came tumbling down!
I learned to shout the “walls” down in my own life as a young Baptist boy. When I was going through a trial, I’d ask myself, How would I act if I already had he victory in this situation? And then I’d get out behind Grandpa’s barn where no one could see me, and by faith, I’d dance and laugh and shout that I had the victory. I won some great victories and experienced some wonderful times of refreshing in the Lord behind Grandpa’s old barn.
Since then I’ve come out into the open in shouting the victory, praise God! I’ve found out what a blessing it is to experience those times of
refreshing in the Holy Ghost with the people of God as we gather together to worship. I enjoy those times of refreshing when God’s people laugh and shout and worship together in the Holy Ghost. We have something to be glad about, for the Lord has done great things for us!
I’ll tell you the truth about the matter. When you get the revelation in your heart that the Lord has already turned your captivity, you won’t be able to keep from laughing and shouting for joy! In the midst of the most difficult trial, your mouth will be filled with laughter and rejoicing, because you’ll see your victory manifested with the eye of faith based on what the Word says.
Truly the Lord has done great things for you through Jesus’ redemptive work on the Cross. Through the mighty power of Jesus’ blood, Satan can no longer hold you in bondage in any area of your life. So let God fill your mouth with laughter. Rejoice and be glad because your captivity has been turned!
(The above material appeared in the November 1992 issue of The Word of Faith.)
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