“Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, ‘God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me’” (Genesis 21:5-6).
A comedian once said, “You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it”. The author Victor Hugo stated, “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face”. Laughter has an important role to play in our lives.
However, how many of us make it a point to take time to laugh? Do we take time to think upon God working in our lives, blessing us, and causing us to laugh because of the joy He has brought us? Jesus wants us to have joy. He said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Our Lord wants us to “be of good cheer”!
Abraham and Sarah had a very strong desire to have a child together (cf. Genesis 15:2-4; 16:1-2). As the years of their marriage went by, the pain of being childless weighed on their hearts. Their hearts ached with grief as they saw other couples having children, but they had none. Frustrated, they had come up with schemes of their own, such as trying Abraham having a child through Sarah’s handmaid Hagar (Genesis 16:1-6), that had created even more problems for them. Later in their lives, as they continue to struggle with their faith in God, both Sarah and Abraham laugh when God reminded them that He would give them a child (Genesis 17:17-18; 18:10-15). Yet, they continued to place their faith in God that God one day would bless them with a child (Hebrews 11:11).
However, as the opening verses above describe, after Isaac was born, Sarah laughs again (Genesis 21:5-6). This is not a laugh filled with doubt. Rather, it is a laugh filled with faith and rejoicing that God had brought a precious child into their lives. All the pain that had been bottled deep down in Sarah’s heart over not having a baby for which to love and care, was released in an expression of abundant joy and she says, “God has made me laugh” (Genesis 21:6).
It is important for us to think on ways in which God makes us laugh because of the joy He has brought into our lives through His blessings. There are many trials and problems in the world. There always will be. Jesus told us there will always be tribulations (John 16:33). But He also said, He wants us to be of “good cheer” as we face these (John 16:33). So much of life is on what we choose to set our minds. Paul reminds us to think on the right things: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
There are many things about which we can choose to laugh regarding the joy God has brought to us. We can laugh at the beauty of a sunrise, the blessing of our loved ones that God has brought into lives, and, certainly, the grace God has shown us in saving us from our sins through His beloved Son (John 3:16). Today, I will not allow tribulations of this world to weigh down my heart with pain, but I choose to meditate on the joy God has brought into my life and how He makes me to laugh!
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:6)!