Last night at our Life Group we laughed. We laughed at silly things, we laughed with joy in hearing some long-awaited answers to prayer and we just laughed. A group of women, whom God loves coming together to encourage and be encouraged laughed. It was healing, it was freeing and it was amazing and wonderful!
This was true laughter. Not the kind of laughter that ridiculed or caused hurt feelings. But this laughter came from true rejoicing and joy. I looked up the definition of laughter. Merriam-Webster defines laughter: to show emotion (such as mirth, joy, or scorn) with a chuckle or explosive vocal sound. That definition did not make me laugh!
So how is faith mixed up with laughter? Genesis 17:17 Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. “How could I become a father at the age of 100?” And then we have his wife Sarah, over hearing the angels tell Abraham that she would bear a son, laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my mast–my husband–is also so old?” So these two wonderful obedient servants of the Lord, were so rattled at the audacity of God’s Words to them that they began in laughter. I think this type of laughter is what happens when the seed of faith and hope begins to germinate into a lively plant. When the things we are facing in the natural begin to meet up with our supernatural God and hopelessness turns to joy–this kind of laughter opens the door for faith to be released. Both Abraham and Sarah moved on from this mixed laughter to full joy when Isaac was born. The name Isaac means laughter or he laughs!
The ability to laugh in faith during difficult situations is a sign of maturity of faith. Psalm 37:12-13 The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgement coming. The Lord laughs because he sees the end, not just the beginning or middle. As we grow in perspective through the word and prayer, we also can laugh because we know everything is going to be “all right”.
The kind of laughter and expressed joy we experienced last night. Scripture tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. I have been praying for more strength lately. As I have been walking through some serious situations with my loved ones, I realize we need some joy bringers to give perspective. I’ve asked the Lord to help me learn how to bring more joy to others. I’m not very good at telling jokes, so it will have to be his Holy Spirit that helps add this dimension to my life.
It is hard to laugh when you are alone. Watching a funny movie or television show when you are by yourself is difficult–laughter is meant to be shared. I think one of the reason we laughed last night was because we were together. Rejoice with those who are experiencing something to rejoice about. Take the time to celebrate with them. It will do your own soul good. It will also set you up to be able to mourn with those who mourn.
Father, I ask that you help us learn to laugh more. To see you in our difficult places and understand that as we seek you, you are laughing because you know all the good you are going to get from our hard places. Like Abraham and Sarah helps us to move from mixed laughter to true joy and rejoicing laughter when our Isaac’s are born. I call forth hope and joy into the lives of those who are reading these words. I thank you for walking us through every mourning situation into your life of joy and laughter. In Jesus Name, amen.