Sometimes our joy gets stolen from us due to the pressures of life. Being in the House of God should help restore our laughter.
Abraham and Sarah – Genesis 18
Ps Phil shared the story of Abraham and Sarah and how at 100 and 90 respectively, God tells them they will have a son. Sarah laughed in disbelief. And when He challenged her, she denied it.
“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (v14a)
Soon Sarah’s laughter of disbelief changed to one of belief. When the impossible happens it is time to laugh.
A year later, just as the Lord promised, Sarah gave birth to Isaac (which means ‘laughter’). She literally gave birth to laughter and in so doing she gave herself a future. (In those days wives who were barren often didn’t have a future) Sarah’s sense of shame was replaced by laughter.
God is the ‘shame taker’: through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus our shame is removed and replaced with joy.
Often the enemy plugs up the positive aspects of our life, eg, our prayer and praise. As evidenced in Genesis 26:18, when laughter is birthed in our life, these wells of prayer and praise are unplugged.
Jesus was a joyful person
“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:11) Jesus was filled with joy and in being in communion with Him we too can be filled with the same joy.
Ps Phil referred to an article written in the Daily Telegraph a while back that highlighted the positive health benefits derived from laughter.
This mirrors the words of Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart does good, like medicine …”
Surround yourself with happy people who look at the positive in life. Live in the joyful zone.
As Nehemiah proclaims “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10)
Circumstances don’t bring everlasting joy
Ps Phil shared quotes from JD Rockefeller and Abraham Lincoln, both expressing how wealth and power made them miserable. Often we postpone experiencing joy because we’re waiting on a change in our circumstances and think when it comes we will be joyful.
But in receiving Christ and continuing to abide in Him enables us to experience continuous joy and peace.
Psalm 126 is a tremendous song of elation sung by the Israelites as they journey back to their homeland after seventy years of captivity in Babylon.
“So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.” (Psalm 126:6)
3 Reasons She Can Laugh at her Future:
1. Believing in God
Hebrews 11:11 – “By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant …” Sarah chose to believe God was faithful to His Word. When we switch on our faith, we can believe in our future.
Often God answers our prayers in different ways to which we want and expect. Sometimes we will experience challenging circumstances but God is more interested in our character than our comfort.
Choose to be joyful despite our circumstances.
2. Give our future to God
God knows what He’s doing.
Jeremiah 29:10-11 - this verse refers specifically to the Israelites and their 70 years of captivity. It was this promise that Daniel declared to the Lord and it came to pass because he chose to give the Israelites future to God.
Honour God and He will honour you.
3. She’s secure in her family
Proverbs 31:10-11 – her husband praises her. She is secure in the knowledge her husband is committed to Christ and her.
Children, honour your parents in all you say and do.
We can step into our future with laughter confident in the Lord’s faithfulness and goodness as we journey through life in union with Him and with our church family.